Londoners 'Should Wear Face Coverings While On Public Transport', Says TfL

Sadiq Khan urged passengers to wear a "non-medical face covering" if they need to travel.
A woman wearing a face mask on a London Underground platform during rush hour, May 11, 2020
A woman wearing a face mask on a London Underground platform during rush hour, May 11, 2020
TOLGA AKMEN via Getty Images

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Passengers should wear a face covering while using public transport in the capital, the mayor of London has warned.

Sadiq Khan said Londoners should continue to avoid public transport during the coronavirus pandemic.

But he said those who have no other choice but to travel should “wear a non-medical face covering”.

“I urge all Londoners to rethink the way they travel,” Khan said. “Please avoid peak times, wear a non-medical covering over your nose and mouth and carry a hand sanitiser.”

The rules apply when using public transport, taxis or private hire services.

From Monday, Transport for London (TfL) front line staff, cleaners and bus drivers will also be offered face masks to use while they are at work.

In a message to Londoners, TfL said it wanted to increase service levels on its buses to 85% by May 18, with aims of reaching “at least” 70% on the Tube and London Overground by the same date.

However, two-metre social distancing rules mean that even when 100% of services are running again, the bus and Tube network will only be able to carry around 15% of the normal number of passengers.

Echoing advice from the government, TfL urged workers to continue to do their jobs at home where possible.

“All public transport providers face huge challenges around social distancing – with the number of passengers TfL can safely accommodate on Tubes and buses reduced by over 85%,” Khan said.

“We will all have to continue playing our part in reducing demand on services by working from home if we possibly can. Please avoid public transport wherever possible.”


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