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Bus passengers could face police action if they will not wear a mask, warns operator

PUBLISHED: 11:51 13 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:52 13 June 2020

A person wearing a face mask boards a bus on Piccadilly, London,  following the introduction of measures to bring England out of lockdown. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 4, 2020. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

A person wearing a face mask boards a bus on Piccadilly, London, following the introduction of measures to bring England out of lockdown. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 4, 2020. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Bus operators could call the police if they are faced with a passenger who refuses to wear a mask while travelling, it can be revealed.

First Bus have installed screens between customers and drivers for safety amid coronavirus. Picture: Ella WilkinsonFirst Bus have installed screens between customers and drivers for safety amid coronavirus. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

From Monday, it will be mandatory for people to wear face coverings while travelling on public transport across England.

People can wear any covering which covers the mouth and nose but medical grade PPE is advised against to ensure there are enough supplies for frontline workers.

Bus providers across the region have been actively encouraging face coverings and one operator has warned the police will be contacted if customers refuse to wear one.

MORE: Seven places you can buy locally made face masks

Charles Sanders, managing director of Sanders Coaches. Picture: Mark Bullimore.Charles Sanders, managing director of Sanders Coaches. Picture: Mark Bullimore.

Charles Sanders, managing director of Sanders Coaches, said: “If people refuse to wear face coverings and insist on travelling, drivers will call management who will speak to the customer and urge them to put on a face covering.

“If they then continue to refuse to wear a face covering and do not get off the bus, we will look into contacting the police.

“But we’re really hoping that most people will comply and won’t be face with that issue. It is the law and people will be told that by drivers. We do not expect it will be a problem as lots of people are wearing face coverings already.”

Enforcement measures for wearing face coverings on Konectbus buses will follow further guidance from the Department of Transport, managing director Jeremy Cooper said.

Konectbus are introducing more services amid lockdown. PHOTO: Ian BurtKonectbus are introducing more services amid lockdown. PHOTO: Ian Burt

He added: “We are monitoring every journey, every day to ensure safe social distancing can be maintained on our buses, and we look forward to welcoming many more passengers back from Monday.”

MORE: ‘How can I stop?’ Norwich’s ‘headband lady’ on supplying free PPE

He also added the number of buses running had been increased at the start of June and plans were afoot to introduce normal services levels soon.

Meanwhile, on First buses, which are currently running 75pc of their normal fleet, sealed screens between drivers and customers have been installed to reduce the risk of infection.

Chris Speed, head of operations at First Eastern Counties, said: “I am asking all our customers who are planning to make a journey by bus to please comply with this practical safety measure, and help our drivers undertake their role in getting people to their destinations safely without causing any conflict in trying to disregard the new rule.”


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