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Face coverings mandatory on public transport from June 15

All lines blocked after person hit by train between Slough and Maidenhead

Travellers will be required to wear face coverings on public transport or be refused travel from later this month.

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, made the announcement at today’s coronavirus daily update.

“I can announce that as of Monday, June 15 face-coverings will become mandatory on public transport, that doesn’t mean surgical masks, which we must keep for clinical settings, it means the kind of face-covering you can easily make at home.

“There will be exemptions to these rules for very young children, for disabled people and those with breathing difficulties,” he said.

Anyone who does not comply with the new rules, which will be enforced by travel operators and British Transport Police if necessary, could be refused travel or fined.

The rule comes into force on the same day as the next easing of lockdown measures.

‘Conditions permitting’ non-essential shops are expected to re-open and secondary schools will begin providing some contact for year 10 and year 12 students from June 15.

Mr Shapps added: “As passenger numbers increase, and we expect this trend to continue, we need to ensure every precaution is taken on buses, trains, aircraft and on ferries.

“With more people using transport the evidence suggests that wearing face coverings offers some, albeit limited, protection against the spread of the virus.”

Although more people are expected to return to the transport network from June 15 Mr Shapps said it should be avoided.

“If you can work from home, you should continue to do so, if you cannot work from home you should avoid transport wherever possible,” he said.

“If you must use public transport, you should follow guidance including avoiding the rush-hour itself.”

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