Bus companies issue statement after Sheffield passengers spotted without face coverings
It is now mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport, but there are concerns some passengers in Sheffield may be flouting the new rules.
From Monday, June 15, anyone caught on buses, trains, trams and other modes of public transport without a face covering could be fined £100, though there are exemptions, including for children aged under 11 and people with certain health conditions.
One man voiced his concerns that fellow passengers in Sheffield appeared to be ignoring the new requirement, introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“Sat on a First bus, where a young lady with no face covering is sat at the front, having been unchallenged by the driver when she got on. A Stagecoach bus just went past with two men on top deck wearing no face covering,” he said.
First South Yorkshire said: “Our drivers cannot enforce the wearing of face coverings as their focus must remain on driving people safely to their destination. We are appealing to customers to act responsibly and follow the Government’s rules.
“We understand that it will take time for everyone to adapt and we are providing the information needed for effective journey planning across all our communications channels.”
A spokeswoman for Stagecoach Yorkshire said the ‘vast majority’ of customers look to do the right thing but some would take time to adapt to the new requirement.
“As with any change in any part of life there may be instances where people forget or aren't aware and we are helping our passengers to understand the new guidance,” she said.
She added: “The government has now published a list of people who are exempt from wearing face coverings. Our free journey assistance card is available at stagecoachbus.com and customers can use this as an easy way of showing they are exempt from wearing a face covering.
“Our drivers already have a protective screen that provides a safe barrier. As a result, the government advice is that face coverings are not necessary for bus drivers. However, should the driver need to leave their cab to assist a customer, they will wear a face covering.”