THE Government is making wearing a mask compulsory on public transport from Monday.
Here’s all we know about the new rules, fines, where to get a mask and how to make one.
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When do I have to start wearing a mask?
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Tuesday that from June 15 it will be mandatory for people to wear face coverings on public transport.
Masking the mouth and nose reduces the risk of asymptomatic carriers — who are infected but showing no symptoms — from passing on the bug.
A DIY face-covering can be used — even just a scarf or a thin cloth mask.
Private hire taxis and minicabs are also included in the measures, but the rules do not cover bus stops, railway stations and other terminals.
Anyone not wearing a mask will be kicked off unless they are disabled, young children or have breathing difficulties.
British Transport Police will have the power to issue fines to rule breakers.
The Government also warned that for face coverings to be effective, people must wash their hands before putting them on and taking them off.
The government is asking people to use a simple face covering, and not buy up PPE standard medical masks as they still are needed for the NHS.
Where is it compulsory to wear one?
It will be compulsory to wear a mask from Monday June 15 on public transport.
Face coverings are now also compulsory in hospitals, with staff, visitors and outpatients required to wear them.
It is not compulsory to wear one at the shops, so that won’t change, but it is wise to wear one as it drastically increases your chances of dodging coronavirus.
Wearing a face mask when out shopping when high street shops reopen on Monday is not legally binding either, but it is wise to be careful and shops will be socially distanced.
Likewise, businesses aren’t legally obliged to provide PPE to employees, however most stores have said they will be available.
Will I be fined for not wearing one?
The public will face fines if they don’t wear a mask on public transport in future, Grant Shapps has confirmed.
The fines will cost you up to £80 on the spot, and £1000 if you’re caught breaking the 14 day quarantine if you’re coming in from overseas.
The Transport Secretary insisted that people would be refused travel or would have to cough up if they disobey the rules.
British Transport Police will be enforcing the rules and will be on patrol to make sure people are wearing them.
Mr Shapps said that it would be an England-only rule, but he expects that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will follow suit.
He said: “You can be refused travel if you don’t comply and you could be fined.”
A new nationwide advertising campaign will be rolled out so everyone knows the new rules.
Where can I buy face masks and how can I make my own?
High demand means a lot of retailers have already sold out, but there are some shops with stock.
Just make sure to check delivery times beforehand as your order may be delayed due to the coronavirus.
Fabric face coverings
DIY face mask
- Buy from Wilko – £3 for a three pack
- Buy from Poundland – £1 for two pack
- Buy from Wickes – from £1.25
Disposable face masks
- Buy from Boots – prices from £15 for a pack of 20
- Buy from Home Bargains – £19.99 for a pack of 50
- Buy from B&M – £19.99 for a pack of 50
How to make a homemade mask
If you’re unable to get your hands on a mask you can make your own at home.
Homemade masks won’t offer the same level of protection as medical-grade ones, but it hasn’t stopped DIY tutorials popping up online.
One of the simplest ones involves using two layers of kitchen roll and one tissue cut in half.
You then cover each end with masking tape – and you can even tape down some wire to stiffen the mask, if you have any.
Finish by punching holes in each end and threading elastic through to fit around your ears.
If you don’t have elastic bands you could also use a hair tie.