Face coverings on buses - what you need to know
From Monday 15 June, you must wear a face covering when travelling on public transport.
This means that it will be a legal requirement for anyone travelling on our buses to wear a face covering for the duration of their journey.
As more people return to work, the issue of social distancing is more important than ever. Whilst we are managing capacity on our buses, public transport does not always lend itself to social distancing, so from 11 May the Government encouraged passengers to wear a face covering, and from 15 June has changed that to a requirement throughout England.
There are some exemptions to the requirement listed below.
why face coverings?
The use of face masks and face coverings has been an issue of contention since the beginning of the outbreak. Current Public Health England advice has not changed – masks to prevent the wearer from catching the virus are only effective in clinical settings when coupled with other Personal Protective Equipment and stringent hygiene measures.
You can make face coverings at home; the key thing is it should cover your mouth and nose. You can find guidance on how to do this here. Or, if you are close to Bracknell bus station, our Bus Station Supervisor will be able to sell you a cloth reusable face covering for £3.00.
By wearing a face covering you might reduce the potential to infect others, especially as you may not know that you are infected. This will allow everyone greater freedom whilst minimising the spread of the virus.
The most important guidance continues to be to wash your hands regularly and avoid travelling unless you need to.
who is exempt?
You do not need to wear a face covering if you are under the age of 11, or have a reasonable excuse not to. Reasonable excuses include:
- not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
- to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
- to take medication
- if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
advice on using a face covering
It is important to use the facial covering properly, otherwise its effectiveness is reduced. You should follow the advice from the Department for Transport's Safer Travel Guidance for Passengers - the full guidance can be found here:
- Wash your hands and face with soap before touching your face covering
- Wash your face covering before each daily use
- Ensure your facial covering covers your nose, mouth and chin and that any elastic is well placed behind your head
- Do not touch your face covering or your face once you have put it on
- Wash your hands before you remove your face covering, remove it without touching your face, and then wash your hands and your face.