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People travelling on public transport in England will be required to wear face coverings from the 15th of June, coinciding with the reopening of retail shops as lockdown measures are further eased.

Announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on the 4th of June, the guidance now requires all individuals should wear some form of face coverings whilst using buses, coaches, trains, ferries and aeroplanes to reduce the risk of transmission.

The introduction of the policy follows sustained calls for a compulsory face coverings policy to be adopted over the past three months, particularly after the World Health Organisation recommended the use of face masks at the start of April.

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Throughout the lockdown, the government maintained that face coverings would have a limited impact on preventing the spread, according to the science, alongside creating a false sense of security amongst people.

New guidance released by the government on the 10th of May indicated a shift in the government’s stance, suggesting people should wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces.

As lockdown measures are further relaxed, the government’s new mandatory policy will see operators, supported by British Transport Police, able to refuse travel or issue penalty fines to individuals not wearing a face covering.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “People should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible. But, as restrictions are carefully eased when it is safe to do so, it’s likely that we will see more people needing to use public transport.

“So, while respecting social distancing and maintaining good hand hygiene remain the most important steps we can all take to stay safe, wearing a face covering can play a role in helping us to protect each other.”

The policy will just apply to public transport rather than enclosed spaces such as shops, says the government, contending that, unlike public transport, “shop owners can place limits on the number of customers allowed inside at any one time.”

Importantly, government advice relating to the use of face coverings highlighted that people should wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting their face covering on and after taking it off, as well as ensuring not to touch their face covering whilst wearing it to avoid hand to mask transmission.

Additionally, the government emphasised that face coverings are not the same as face masks and urged people not to use medical grade PPE masks to ensure these remain available for frontline staff.

Similarly to the change in advice towards face coverings in May, people searching online for face masks spiked yesterday following the Transport Secretary’s announcement, indicating a potential opportunity for retailers in the sector to meet consumer demand.

https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/face-covering-transport-airport.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/face-covering-transport-airport.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettCoronavirus NewsCOVID-19 Sector NewsCOVID-19 Trade NewsGovernment & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomRetailer NewsSector NewsTrade NewsDepartment fir Transport,England,face covering,face mask,Google Trend,government policy,Grant Shapps,PPE,public transport,search terms,world health organisationPeople travelling on public transport in England will be required to wear face coverings from the 15th of June, coinciding with the reopening of retail shops as lockdown measures are further eased.Announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on the 4th of June, the guidance now requires all individuals should...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals