Planes, trains, buses: where will masks be mandatory in England after 19 July?
Several airlines have said they will continue to require passengers to wear face coverings, while rail, bus and coach operators will not require it after 19 July when the UK government relaxes the rules in England.
The minister said he backed the decision of Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, to carry on requiring face coverings on public transport in the capital, even though the government had previously said it wanted to move to a system of “common sense” and “personal responsibility” when it comes to mask-wearing.
Airlines said passengers and crew would still have to wear face coverings, in line with European rules. Ryanair said on Wednesday: “In line with European Union Aviation Safety Agency/European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control guidelines and in order to protect the health of our customers and crew, the use of face masks will still be mandatory across all Ryanair flights, regardless of the departing/destination country.”
EasyJet said: “At present there are no changes to easyJet’s onboard mask policy and we will continue to keep this under review. We continue to be guided by our in-house medical adviser and a number of key industry governing bodies that airlines follow.”
Wizz Air also said face masks for passengers and crew would remain mandatory onboard its aircraft for the full duration of its flights.
Gatwick airport said passengers must wear face coverings throughout the terminal buildings and all staff would wear face coverings in public areas.
A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, said face coverings would no longer be mandatory but should be worn on trains and inside stations if it is busy.
“Passengers should follow the government guidance and, as a courtesy to others, wear face coverings if an indoor setting is busy,” the spokesperson said. “Train travel is low-risk, with the majority of carriages well ventilated by air conditioning systems or by doors and windows. As restrictions lift, we will continue carrying out extra cleaning and providing better information about how busy services are, so that our passengers can travel with confidence.”
CPT, which represents 95% of buses in the UK, including the operators Stagecoach, Arriva, First Group, National Express and Go-Ahead, said it would not make face coverings on bus and coach services compulsory.
A spokesperson said: “It’s an issue for government. They have access to the science.” He urged passengers to recognise government advice and to be respectful towards others. CPT expects its members to follow its recommendation.
A Go-Ahead spokesperson said: “We will follow whatever guidance or regulation we are given by the government or local authorities.”
A National Express spokesperson said: “We are all responsible for keeping each other safe … We will ask [customers] to continue to be considerate of others and respect their personal choices.”