Have you got it covered? That’s the question being asked by Northern as face coverings on trains become mandatory on Monday 15 June.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more people return to work, all customers and staff are being asked to wear face coverings when on trains and at stations.
Face coverings can include masks, reusable cloth coverings and a whole range of other options including scarves and bandanas – as long as the wearer’s nose and mouth are covered. This government directive is being implemented on all forms of public transport.
Some people are exceptions from wearing face coverings, including children under 11, people with breathing difficulties and those with conditions or disabilities that make it difficult for them to wear a face covering. For further information, please see current government guidance here.
Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said: “We all need to do our bit to help the country recover from the coronavirus pandemic and to help prevent the further spread of the virus.
“Face coverings can reduce the risk to other people and by following the guidance we can all work to keep each other – customers and staff – as safe as possible.
“It also important that customers take their face coverings with them at the end of their journey. Even if masks are disposable, they shouldn’t be left on trains for cleaning staff to deal with.”
The government mandate will cover the majority of passengers, although there will be some exemptions for some staff and customers who are not able to wear a face covering for specific medical reasons.
Northern is asking all passengers to be mindful and respectful of this fact and customers should not challenge others who are not able to wear a covering.
As well as asking people to wear face coverings, Northern is also reminding its customers that public transport should only be used if no other options are available.
Non-essential shops are set to reopen on 15 June, but this doesn’t mean non-essential journeys should be made by train.
Chris added: “We completely understand that, with shops opening, people will want to get out and about, but they should only travel by train if their journey is essential, this does not include day trips and non-essential shopping.
“Social distancing measures are still in place on our trains which means capacity on our services is reduced by as much as 85 per cent. We need to keep the spaces on our trains for those who have no other option such as key workers and those who can’t work from home
“Those who do need to travel by train should follow a few simple steps; maintain social distancing where possible, wash hands before and after travel and, of course, wear a face covering.”
Customers should also leave extra time for travel and check times carefully as services may be subject to amendments and delays.
For full details check the Northern website or National Rail Enquiries.