The government have made it compulsory to wear a face covering whilst using public transport from today, Monday 15th June.
Blackpool Transport Service say that you must wear a face covering or you may be refused travel on their buses. However, if you do not have a face covering whilst boarding Blackpool Transport buses, you will be able to purchase one from the driver for £1 (whilst stocks last) with 50p of each sale donated to the NHS. Guidance from the government means that drivers do not need to wear a face covering if there are sufficient safety measures in place, so Blackpool Transport say that you should not worry if you see a driver not wearing a face covering.
There are some exceptions to this legislation and people who have disabilities, breathing difficulties or children under 11 years old do not have to wear a face covering whilst on board. The government advise that this includes;
- a child who is under the age of 11
- those who cannot put on, wear, or remove a face covering:
- without severe distress
- because of any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010)
- those travelling with or providing assistance to, another person who relies on lip-reading to communicate
- to eat or drink where it is reasonably necessary to do so
- If the face covering is removed to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to themselves or others
- somebody is travelling to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and do not have a face covering with them.
- if someone has to remove their face covering to take medication
- If someone is requested to remove the face covering by a constable or other relevant person
If you fall in to any of the excluded categories and you are unable to wear a face covering whilst travelling with us, you are asked to let the driver know when boarding. Where possible, Blackpool Transport ask passengers in the above categories to download and print a card as pictured below (link: download and print one of our cards) to show to their teams. You could also show this using a mobile device if you don’t have access to a printer.
Northern Trains also say face coverings are now mandatory. All customers and staff are being asked to wear face coverings when on trains and at stations. The Northern Trains website add that face coverings can include masks, reusable cloth coverings and a whole range of other options including scarves and bandanas – as long as the wearer’s nose and mouth are covered.
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern has said, ‘We completely understand that, with shops opening, people will want to get out and about, but they should only travel by train if their journey is essential, this does not include day trips and non-essential shopping.’
‘Social distancing measures are still in place on our trains which means capacity on our services is reduced by as much as 85 per cent. We need to keep the spaces on our trains for those who have no other option such as key workers and those who can’t work from home.’
‘Those who do need to travel by train should follow a few simple steps; maintain social distancing where possible, wash hands before and after travel and, of course, wear a face covering.’