Unite, the UK’s leading union, which represents tens of thousands of transport workers, has called for the return of mandatory face mask wearing on public transport after a surge in Covid-19 infections.


Lack of respect


Unite is also becoming increasingly alarmed about the lack of dignity and respect that its hospitality workers are experiencing in the workplace due to the way members of the public react to social distancing measures set by venues.


Unite believes that a return to compulsory mask wearing on all public transport, which the government ended in July, would be a simple and commonsense method to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission when travelling.


Government action needed


Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said: “The government can no longer pretend that Covid-19 is not a risk and needs to take immediate action to protect key workers and passengers.


“By reintroducing mask wearing the danger of infection to both bus workers and passengers is significantly reduced. This is a sensible measure the government could and should take that does not damage the economy in anyway.


“The reintroduction of mask wearing must go hand-in-hand with the proper enforcement of such rules.”


The union has also reiterated its call that in areas where mask wearing remains a condition of carriage, including on public transport in London, this measure should be properly enforced.


Poor public behaviour


Unite national officer for the hospitality sector Dave Turnbull said: “Our members are reporting that customers are becoming increasingly abusive when they attempt to enforce social distancing measures set by the venue. This is entirely unacceptable. Unite is working to ensure that hospitality sector employers protect their workers.”




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


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.


Email: [email protected]


Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Instagram: unitetheunion Web: unitetheunion.org


Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.