Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents tens of thousands of public transport workers, is calling on the government to reverse proposals to end the requirement for masks to be worn on buses and trains.

Mask wearing concerns 

Unite issued its warning as ministers have indicated that from Monday 19 July the wearing of face masks will no longer be compulsory but a matter of ‘personal responsibility’.

The requirement for passengers to wear masks is particularly sensitive for bus drivers due to the very high numbers who have died of Covid-19.

Maximum capacity rules

Unite also believes that restrictions on the maximum capacity of passengers on buses should also remain in place.

Gross negligence

Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said: “To end the requirement to wear masks on public transport would be an act of gross negligence by the government.

“Rates of infection are continuing to increase and not only does mask wearing reduce transmissions it helps provide reassurance to drivers and to passengers who are nervous about using public transport.

“The idea of personal responsibility and hoping that people will wear masks is absolutely ridiculous, members are already reporting there is an increase in passengers ignoring the rules on mask wearing.

“Until rates of Covid-19 are fully under control, throughout the whole of the UK, the rules on mask wearing on public transport should remain in place.”


Notes to editors:

Mask wearing and reduced capacity on buses must be enforced and extended for public safety, warns Unite

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.