Bus company First reveals its stance on facemasks on its Sheffield services as mayor calls for Government U-turn

Sheffield city region mayor Dan Jarvis is urging the Government to reverse plans to lift legal requirements to wear facemasks in enclosed spaces and public transport.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 8:38 pm

It comes as two of the city’s biggest bus operators reveal they will be urging people to wear masks, even if the Government has changed the law on Monday.

With the number of new Covid infections passing 50,000 for the first time since mid-January, Mr Jarvis said: “This is the highest number of new infections in months, it’s clearly not the time to stop wearing masks. The Government must reverse its decision to remove the legal requirement on Monday.

“Masks are a cheap and effective way to limit the spread of the virus, that’s why they’ll remain mandatory at the bus stations and interchanges we control in South Yorkshire.

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First bus company parked at Glove Grove depot, Sheffield
First bus company parked at Glove Grove depot, Sheffield

“I’m sure it would be more reassuring for the vulnerable, and less challenging for staff, if the Government simply kept the legal requirement in place. But, as they seem unwilling to do so, alongside other Metro Mayors I’m having to do what I can with the powers I have to keep South Yorkshire safe.

“I urge everyone in South Yorkshire: wear a mask if you can, and make sure you get both your vaccinations.”

Meanwhile, First South Yorkshire has now said it would encourage its passengers to wear masks after Monday

Managing director, Nigel Eggleton, said: “Government’s recommendation is to wear face coverings if you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces. We accept that this is our customers’ personal choice and we will encourage everyone to respect their fellow passengers on board our services and follow Government recommendations."

He said they would give live updates on bus capacity and seating via an app, and carry out practical measures such as enhanced daily cleaning with long-lasting sanitiser.

Stagecoach, which operates Supertram and bus services in the city, earlier published guidance for passengers to abide by after July 19.

It stated: “We're following Government guidance and we ask all customers to follow this guidance to ensure everyone can continue to travel safely on our services.

“In line with Government guidance, please continue to wear a face covering if you can, especially in enclosed areas and on busy services.”

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.