Passengers on buses are now required to cover their faces to help reduce the transmission of Covid-19.
However, although the measure has been widely supported, Unite, the union which represents over 80,000 UK bus workers, has highlighted concerns raised in some areas about non-compliance.
While it concedes that only the police have the power to apply on-the-spot fines for a failure to comply with the conditions of travel, the union is urging bus companies to bring in staff other than drivers to order people who are not wearing a face covering to leave the bus.
Unite national officer for passenger transport, Bobby Morton, said: “It is not the responsibility of the bus driver to enforce the wearing of a face covering. Given the challenges and risks they have faced during the pandemic they already have enough on their plate. Unite has advised its members not to get involved with passengers who are not wearing a face covering.”
He has also suggested that operators should identify routes where there is significant non-compliance and then ensure that the police are involved.
“It is vital that all passengers comply with the regulations in order to reduce the danger of transmission and to ensure that confidence returns to using public transport,” Mr Morton concluded.
The rules are laid down in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 592) which can be found at www.legislation.gov.uk.
Last reviewed 29 June 2020