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Commuters Face Being Told To Wear Mask And Not Wear Mask At Same Station

Commuters Face Being Told To Wear Mask And Not Wear Mask At Same Station

The conflicting new rules are set to come into force next Thursday, as TfL has issued different advise to other rail companies

You would be forgiven for thinking the ever-changing Covid rules have been a little confusing over the past two years. 

However, things are about to get even more confusing, as commuters may be told to wear or not wear a mask at the same station. 

This is due to Transport for London and other rail firms issuing conflicting orders, meaning the same stations and the same tracks may require different rules to be followed. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has, in fact, announced the end the compulsory wearing of masks on public transport which will begin from next Thursday (27 January), however, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has agreed to keep masks as a ‘condition of carriage’ on all TfL services. 


So, if you do not wear a face covering while travelling on the Underground, Overground, buses, trams, or river boats in London, then you may be prevented from boarding or asked to leave, unless exempt. 

A TfL spokesperson told LADbible: “We are grateful that the vast majority of people have followed the rules and helped control the virus and keep each other, and our staff, safe and we ask them to continue to do so. Our intention is to retain the condition of carriage requiring customers to wear face coverings at all times while travelling on our network unless exempt, which we have found plays an important role in giving people confidence to use public transport and to travel safely. Under this condition of carriage, those who do not wear face coverings may be prevented from using our services or asked to leave the network.

“The transport network is cleaner than ever, with an enhanced cleaning regime, hospital grade cleaning products, widely available hand sanitiser and UV light fittings on escalator handrails to kill viruses, and regular testing by Imperial College London has found no trace of coronavirus on our public transport network. We look forward to welcoming back our customers and helping the city recovery from the pandemic.”

On the other hand, the Rail Delivery Group announced that National Rail operators will only ask people to wear a mask in busy indoor settings, which will be guidance, and not enforced. 

A spokesman for the RDG said: “Passengers should follow the government guidance and, as a courtesy to others, wear face coverings if an indoor setting is busy.” 

Inevitably, this creates confusion for commuters travelling in and through the capital – whether or not you have to wear a mask will now be down to the rail operator, TfL or otherwise. 

Yesterday, Sadiq Khan spoke of the necessity to continue wearing face coverings, despite government restrictions being lifted. 


He said, as per ITV News: “Wearing a face covering is one of the single most important and easiest things we can all do to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the Government should rethink their plans and keep legislation in place to make them mandatory on public transport as well as in shops and indoor public venues. 

“This ensures the rules are clear and consistent and, crucially, means enforcement action can continue to be carried out on our transport network. 

“If we have learnt anything from this pandemic, it is that we must not get complacent and undo all our hard work and sacrifices. 

“That's why face coverings will remain a condition of carriage on Transport for London 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.” 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Boris Johnson, Coronavirus, UK News, London