Select Page

If there’s one issue that angers commuters, it is other travellers not wearing face masks.

The new law was introduced on 15 June and for the last month it has been mandatory to wear face masks on public transport.

So is it working?

The authorities say 90% of people abide by it but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that some are still not wearing a face covering and there are many examples of people not wearing the coverings correctly.

Transport for London (TfL) says compliance is higher on the Tube and in rush hour.

The authorities had spoken about social pressure playing a part in getting people to wear a mask, in the same way the alcohol ban on transport worked.

‘Social pressure’

Now though it seems TfL and British Transport Police (BTP) are ramping up their enforcement.

In the first month, BTP across the UK, asked 18,037 people to wear a covering and asked 819 to leave the network. It also issued 21, £100 fines. face masks

TfL warned 10,000 passengers and has given out 14 fines.

Commuters on the Tube wearing a face covering
  Image copyright GETTY IMAGES Image captionIt is hoped social pressure will ensure people wear a face covering on public          transport


Read More

Also Read: Brexit: UK’s new fast-track immigration system to exclude care workers

The enforcement officers we went filming with had to check with those not wearing a mask to see if they had an exemption first.There are exemptions for children, for people with certain health problems and also if wearing a face covering would cause you “severe distress”.The law also says you can remove the covering for eating and drinking.Transport employees are also exempt although all customer-facing TfL staff have to wear them – excluding bus drivers where it is a personal decision as they work within the sealed off cab.The enforcement staff will not be able to cover the whole network and so social pressure will still play a large part in the new normal. The commuters we spoke to certainly thought everyone should be wearing one.