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With Mark Dover

Face masks to remain mandatory on public transport in London

The number of people using the Tube has returned to roughly 45 per cent of pre-pandemic levels

The Mayor of London has revealed people will have to continue wearing face masks on public transport in the capital. 

The Government is set to remove the legal requirement to use them from Monday, 19 July.

However, Sadiq Khan has asked Transport for London (TfL) to keep enforcing face coverings to protect staff and customers. 

It means people will still need to wear them on bus, Tube, Overground, TfL Rail, DLR and tram services. 

Individuals who do not comply, and who are not exempt, might be refused entry by specially trained enforcement officers.

Mr Khan said: “The simplest and safest option would have been for the Government to retain the national requirement for face masks on public transport, but I’m not prepared to stand by and put Londoners, and our city’s recovery, at risk.

“By keeping face masks mandatory we will give Londoners and visitors the reassurance and confidence to make the most of what our city has to offer, while also protecting our heroic transport workers and those who may be vulnerable and rely on the network to get around our city.”

The move has been backed by the Government who insist they always wanted companies to make their own rules. 

SAGE guidance also states masks are likely to be the most effective way of reducing transmission indoors where social distancing is not feasible. 

Tube ridership has returned to around 45 per cent of pre-pandemic levels while bus ridership is at 65 per cent. 

Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “I would like to thank the vast majority of people using our services, who have followed the rules and helped control the virus and keep each other, and our staff, safe.

“I urge everyone to continue to follow the requirements so that we can continue to build confidence, and get back to the many wonderful things about London that we have missed during the pandemic.

“The transport network is cleaner than ever, with an enhanced cleaning regime, hospital grade cleaning products, widely available hand sanitizer and UV light fittings on escalator handrails to kill viruses.” 

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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