Face coverings set to become mandatory on public transport in Wales
A three layer face covering on public transport and in taxis will become mandatory in Wales, it has been confirmed.
First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that the measures will come into place from July 27th.
Although face coverings have been required on Arriva Buses across Wales, up until now they have not been mandatory on wider public transport and in taxis.
Previously advice been that three layer masks are “recommended” in certain situations where social distancing is not possible, despite calls from some to make wearing face coverings a requirement.
Last week Health Minister Vaughan Gething said he was “looking forward to updated advice’ on mandatory use of face coverings in public places”.
Speaking at today’s daily briefing, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “As more people return to work and the economy reopens there will be times when not always possible to maintain 2m on public transport.
“Often people can be spending periods of time travelling without option of leaving the vehicle.
“It will become mandatory in Wales to wear a three layer face covering while travelling on public transport and that includes taxis.
“This will come into effect from July 27th.”
He added that he is not mandating the use of face coverings in other public places – however this advice may change is cases of coronavirus increase again.
Mr Drakeford said, “as far as wearing face coverings in other places is concerned, the advice of the Welsh Government is if places are crowded, then face coverings are advised (but not mandatory) where the places are not too crowded.
It is a matter for the individual citizen to make that decision.
The prevalence of coronavirus in Wales is at the lowest since this (pandemic) began.
We carried out over the weekend over 7000 tests on the three days and the prevalence was somewhere below half of one percent.
We have to be proportionate in the things we ask people to do, we have not decided to make them mandatory in those contexts, if coronavirus begins to circulate then our advice may change.”
Union Unite has welcomes Welsh Government face coverings decision on public transport:
Speaking today Peter Hughes Unite Wales Regional Secretary commented;
“Unite Wales warmly welcomes Welsh Governments decision to make face coverings mandatory on public transport in Wales.
Our members working for bus companies and within the taxi trade have been arguing that this is the best way to protect themselves and the travelling public.
This decision will improve safety on our buses, trains and taxis and help prevent the transmission of Covid19 within Wales.
It will also greatly increase the confidence of the general public to travel on public transport as lockdown measures are eased”.
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