New Coronavirus Regulations come in force today

Face coverings on public transport – and for hospital staff, outpatients and visitors – will be compulsory in England from today.

More than 3,000 extra staff including police officers are being deployed at stations to make sure people comply.

Passengers without a covering will be asked to wear one, or will face being refused onboard or fined £100.

People with certain health conditions, disabled people and children under the age of 11 will be exempt from the rule.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’ve seen how the COVID-19 pandemic has unlocked a community spirit right across our nation, and we now need to extend this to our transport network so we can help keep one another safe.

“If you do need to travel, in the same way that you would pick up your phone, wallet or keys when you leave the house, please remember to bring a face covering.

“Our fantastic transport staff will be on hand to provide help and advice, and free coverings will be given out at key train stations to help kick-start this initiative. This is another small, sensible step we can all take to help us defeat this virus.”

The Regulations, which will be made under the Public Health Act 1984 and come into force on Monday, will make face coverings mandatory on buses, coaches, trams, ferries, aircraft and trains. In addition, some operators will amend their conditions of carriage, allowing them to enforce the requirement in a similar way to the rules on having a ticket for travel, meaning they can implement the changes in the way that works best for them.