As life slowly gets back to normal (well, the “new normal”), we are embracing new ways of living. One of the major changes we’re making is donning face masks to help slow the continuing spread of Coronavirus. In fact, face coverings are now mandatory on public transport and in private hire taxis in England. This comes as the latest in a long line of precautions we should be taking, alongside washing.
our hands with hot water and soap (while we sing Happy Birthday twice through, apparently), using hand sanitiser when making essential trips and practising social distancing.
For some time, the government has made tentative references with regards to the wearing of fabric face masks in enclosed public spaces – but since debate regarding the effectiveness of face masks has been rife, wearing one has been voluntary. However, it is now absolutely mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport, as well as in private hire taxis such as Uber.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that “we need to ensure every precaution is taken,” and that “face coverings offer some – albeit limited – protection”. He said anyone who doesn’t comply can be stopped from travelling and passengers can be fined for not wearing them. You know what to do. In addition, on Friday June 12, taxi companies including Uber and Addison Lee released statements saying it will also be mandatory to wear a face mask.
“From Monday 15th June, Transport for London (TfL) has requested that all passengers in Private Hire Vehicles wear a face covering. In view of this guidance, we are asking all passengers to join us in helping to protect your safety, the health of your driver and the capital, by wearing a face covering when travelling with Addison Lee,” declared Addison Lee.
Likewise, Uber released a statement reading: “As of Monday, if you aren’t wearing a face covering, your driver has the right to cancel your ride, and anyone who is repeatedly flagged for not wearing a face covering will risk losing access to the app.” The taxi firm has launched a new feature in London which will verify whether your driver is wearing a face covering via prompting them to take a selfie before they can go online. You can also cancel your ride if your driver arrives and is not wearing a face covering.