15 June 2020
Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020, in force Monday 15 June 2020.
These Regulations create a requirement to wear a face covering when using a public transport service:
Regulation 3 - No person may, without reasonable excuse, use a public transport service without wearing a face covering. Using a public transport service includes boarding the vehicle and any time when on board the vehicle (whether or not for the purposes of travel).
Regulation 4 - The following people are exempt from the offence and are not required to wear a face covering:
A child under 11;
any employee of the operator, acting in course of their employment;
any person providing services under arrangements with the operator;
a constable, PSCO, emergency responder, or relevant official, acting in their capacity as such;
a person inside an allocated cabin / berth / accommodation, if they are alone or with members of their household / linked household.
a person inside a separate vehicle, while using the public transport service.
Regulation 4 also provides that reasonable excuses for not wearing a face covering include:
when a person cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering, due to a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability;
when a person is travelling with or providing assistance to another person, who relies on lip reading to communicate;
when a person removes their face covering to avoid harm, injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to themselves or others;
to eat or drink where it is reasonably necessary to do so;
to take medication, where removing the face covering is necessary to do so;
if a relevant person requests a person to remove their face covering
Regulation 5 - Where a person fails to comply with the requirement to wear a face covering, they may be denied access to the vehicle, directed to wear a face covering, or directed to disembark. Where there are reasonable grounds to believe that a relevant child is failing to comply with the requirement, a direction may be issued to the individual who has responsibility for the child to ensure that the child complies with the requirement. A constable may remove a passenger from a relevant vehicle, using reasonable force if necessary, if they fail to comply with a direction to disembark from the vehicle.
Regulation 6 - There are three offences under the Regulations:
Failing to comply with the requirement in regulation 3 (wearing a face covering);
Obstructing, without reasonable excuse, a person carrying out a function under the Regulations;
Without reasonable excuse, contravening a direction given under regulation 5(2) (when directed fail to wear a face covering or fail to disembark).
The offences above are punishable on summary conviction by a fine.
Regulation 7 - A fixed penalty notice may be issued to anyone who is reasonably believed to have committed an offence under these Regulations and is aged 18 or over. The fixed penalty will be for £100; lowered to £50 if paid within 14 days.
The Regulations expire after 12 months, but the need for them must be reviewed by the Secretary of State within 6 months.
Please see our coronavirus document for an overview of further legislation relating to Coronavirus.