Smart Transport

Wales to make face coverings mandatory on public transport

Female passenger on a train wearing a white face mask

Face coverings will become compulsory for everyone travelling on public transport and in taxis in Wales from July 27.

The change in the law will help to protect people from the risk of coronavirus (Covid-19) when travelling, when it is not always possible to maintain a two-metre physical distance.

It comes after the Welsh Government introduced new changes to the two-metre physical distancing duty, setting out the measures all businesses, including public transport operators, must put in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus.

But due to the amount of available physical space on buses and trains and in taxis, it can be much harder to introduce physical changes and for people to maintain a two-metre distance from each other at all times, than in other public places.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Every hour, buses, trains and taxis move across our porous border with England, where the use of face coverings is mandatory on public transport.

“For the sake of simplicity and consistency, as well as being part of our plan to help reduce the risk of transmission while on public transport where it is not always possible to maintain a two-metre physical distance, it will become mandatory for people to wear three-layer face covering while travelling in Wales – this includes taxis.

“As lockdown restrictions are slowly eased, our economy will start to re-open and more people will return to work.

“We recognise the amount of physical space on buses and trains is limited, which means it is harder for people to stay two metres apart than in other public places.”

The First Minister added: “Our message still stands – please consider carefully your reasons for travelling. We are encouraging people to continue to work from home wherever they can.

“Public transport should be used only for essential journeys for the time being, for our critical workers and those who have no alternative transport.”

The move to make face coverings on public transport compulsory will help operators to increase capacity on trains and buses as demand rises as more people return to work following the ongoing process of gradually easing the coronavirus restrictions in Wales.

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