Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport from Monday - this is everything you need to know if you're getting the bus, train or tram in Sheffield

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Anyone using public transport from Monday, June 15, will now be required to wear a face covering to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

We asked bus, train and tram operators in Sheffield how they plan to ensure passengers comply with the new requirement and what will happen if someone turns up with a ticket but no mask or other face covering.

Bus operators Stagecoach and First both said they were following the guidelines provided by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which has been liaising with the Department for Transport on behalf of the industry.

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Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport from Monday, June 15Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport from Monday, June 15
Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport from Monday, June 15

A spokesman for the CPT said: “Over the last few weeks, where people have needed to travel by bus they have been very keen to comply with the capacity restrictions and social distancing, and we would hope there will be a high level of compliance with the new requirement to wear face coverings.

“If someone does turn up without a face covering they won’t be allowed to travel, though I wouldn’t expect that to necessarily be the case from day one as we work to ensure all passengers are aware of the new requirement.”

He added that masks would not be distributed on buses due to concerns over hygiene.

And he said some passengers and staff would be exempt from having to wear a face covering, including younger children and people with certain health conditions – the full list of which is being finalised by the Government.

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He asked passengers to ‘work with us’ and reminded them that any abuse of staff would not be tolerated.

The CPT said that bus travel had fallen to around 10 per cent of what would normally be expected during the early stages of lockdown but had since risen steadily to around 18-20 per cent and was expected to increase further as non-essential retailers reopen from Monday, meaning their employees many need to travel by bus to work.

Face coverings have been shown to help prevent wearers, who may be infected without knowing it, from spreading COVID-19.

They should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably, and can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head to give a snug fit, according to the Government, which has published a guide to making your own.

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Northern reminded customers that only essential journeys, which do not include shopping trips or days out, should be made by train, with capacity on its services down by as much as 85 per cent.

Northern, TransPennine Express and East Midlands Railway are, like other operators, following guidance provided by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG).

Robert Nisbet, the RDG’s director of nations and regions, said: “Wearing face coverings on trains and at stations will help protect others and ensure those who need to travel can do so safely.

“If someone isn’t wearing a face covering, they will be reminded of the rules, provided with a free covering or told where they can get one, or as a last resort they could be issued with a spot fine. However, we are confident that the vast majority of people will want to do the right thing.”

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The RDG said some masks would be available at certain stations but people should assume they need to bring their own.

Asked whether staff would be monitoring their use on board trains, it said not all trains have a second member of staff and that people should continue to maintain a safe social distance of at least two metres wherever possible.

And it said children aged under 11 would not be required to wear a face covering.