Face coverings to remain mandatory on public transport in London despite national end of restrictions
Despite the end of ‘Plan B’ restrictions in England, the Mayor of London has announced that wearing a face covering will remain a condition of carriage for Transport for London services.
On 19 January 2022, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that call ‘Plan B’ COVID-19 restrictions – including the mandatory wearing of face coverings, COVID-19 ‘passports’ and a ‘work from home’ mandate – would be lifted across England from 27 January 2022.
Despite the wearing of face coverings no longer being a legislative requirement, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, released the following statement in response to the end of the restrictions:
“The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in London and across our country is great news for our city’s economic recovery. London is the heartbeat of our nation’s economy, and too many businesses had their future hanging in the balance coming into the new year due to inadequate government support,” said Khan.
He continued: “It’s been made possible by the fantastic efforts of everyone in our city, including our amazing NHS staff who have worked around the clock to administer the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone who wore a mask, took a lateral flow test or followed the advice to work from home where possible, has helped our city to turn the corner.
“But, sadly, this is not the end of our fight against the virus. COVID-19 still poses a significant threat to all of us, our livelihoods and our loved ones. Wearing a face covering is one of the single most important and easiest things that we can all do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the [UK] government should rethink their plans and keep legislation in place to make them mandatory on public transport. This ensures that the rules are clear and consistent and, crucially, means that enforcement action can continue to be carried out on our transport network. Compliance of the rules is far higher with legislation than without.
“If we have learnt anything from this pandemic, it is that we must not get complacent and undo all of our hard work and sacrifices. That’s why face coverings will remain a condition of carriage on [Transport for London] (TfL) services. I’m asking everyone in our capital to do the right thing and continue to wear a face covering when travelling on TfL services to keep us all protected and to prevent further restrictions from being necessary later down the line.
“It’s important that Londoners continue to test regularly and report their results, to keep our communities safe from infection. I also want to urge anyone who hasn’t come forward for their first, second or booster vaccination to do so now, even if you’ve had COVID-19 before. It’s never too late,” Khan concluded.