CCities across England have joined with London in making masks mandatory on transport services after Freedom Day in a revolt against Boris Johnson.
Mayors across England have opposed the government’s decision and have joined the capital to keep the wearing of mandatory masks in local transport areas under their control.
- Grand Manchester
- Liverpool City Area
- West of England
- North of Tyne
- Yorkshire du Sud
- West Yorkshire
From Monday, face coverings will become a condition of carriage on the London Underground, trains and buses, Greater Manchester Metrolink trams and the Tyne and Wear Underground.
They must also be worn at West and South Yorkshire bus stations.
But mayors warned that without an ongoing national mandate, there would be a “ridiculous offset” of rules across the country that would be “confusing” for passengers when measures are relaxed on Monday.
For example, masks will not be mandatory on local buses or mainline trains because managers do not have control over them.
One exception is London, where bus passengers will need to wear blankets since TfL is overseen by the city’s mayor.
Mr Johnson has been called upon to flip-flop the decision, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps backing Mr Khan.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said mayors wanted to see a ‘return to a more normal life’ but it had to be done ‘safely’, with masks helping to protect people in enclosed environments.
South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis sounded: ‘The government’s mixed messages risk making public transport a no-go zone, both for the vulnerable and for our young people who have yet to receive both vaccines. “
What are the others doing?
In Wales, face masks will remain a legal requirement on public transport, in part to reassure clinically vulnerable people.
Prime Minister Mark Drakeford announced the decision which also applies to care facilities and indoor public places in Wales.
Coronavirus restrictions are expected to ease in Scotland when the country drops to zero, but mandatory masks will remain for some time.
Other European countries, including France, Spain, Italy and Portugal, also continue to impose mandatory face coverings in public transport.
Conditions of carriage are contractual conditions between passengers and transport services, which include the non-consumption of alcohol, which is also imposed by a regulation.
The new condition of carriage requires passengers to continue to wear face coverings at stations and for the duration of their journey unless they are exempted from doing so.
Passengers not wearing face coverings and not exempt will be refused entry.
TfL is considering amending the existing regulations for face coverings, but this would have taken a long time and could have resulted in a gap between the end of national regulations and the start of TfL’s requirements.