(5 June 2020) In line with the latest government advice, Red Funnel is asking its passengers to wear face coverings on its services, with immediate effect.
Speaking for the Department for Transport, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps, MP yesterday announced that it will be making face coverings mandatory on public transport as of Monday 15 June. Red Funnel welcomes this move and hopes that passengers will start to adopt best practice right away.
When the new law comes into effect, all public transport operators, including Red Funnel, will find themselves in a position to have to refuse travel for any passengers not wearing a face covering.
As defined in the latest advice, the rule applies to all passengers with a few exceptions. Exclusions are permitted for children under the age of two or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions. There will also be exceptions for people with disabilities or breathing difficulties.
The government has also clarified that ‘face coverings’ are not the same as surgical masks, stating:
“A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings.”
Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can easily be made from home. Full instructions are available online, here: http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering
Fran Collins, CEO, Red Funnel said: “The safety of our passengers and staff remains our top priority and we have taken on board the advice that face coverings offer some protection against the spread of the virus, especially as more people start to use public transport, including our ferries. As the new rule comes into effect from 15 June, we feel it’s important for our passengers to get used to this change now in the hope that once enforcement comes into effect, it will be a normal routine. On top of this, we continue to urge our customers to follow government guidelines on social distancing and refrain from using public transportation, including our ferries, unless for essential reasons only.”