BTP to step up enforcement of mask wearing on public transport
British Transport Police is to step up enforcement of the wearing of face coverings on public transport as passenger levels rise following the further easing of lockdown restrictions this weekend.
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps told the House of Commons this morning (July 2) that levels of compliance had been high with around 86 per cent of passengers following the regulations.
He added that, so far, officers and transport workers had mostly tried to engage with those failing to wear masks but that this would now change.
“We did say in the early days that we would ensure compliance was gently enforced but I do want to inform the House that TfL (Transport for London), Network Rail and British Transport Police will be tightening up on that implementation.
“I’ve signed just under regulation 8 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) England regulations 2020 powers for TfL to increase enforcement.”
Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris also told MPs: “The rail industry will deliver an uplift in services on Monday July 6 to respond to an increase in post-July 4 demand and service levels will be close to 85 per cent of pre-Covid levels.”
The mask rule was first introduced on June 4 and timed to coincide with the reopening of non-essential shops in England.
More than 40 TfL workers have died from coronavirus since the pandemic began.