COVID-19 – Updated Guidance for Transport Operators

On 25th July, the government updated their ‘Safer Guidance for Operators’ document, to include additional information surrounding the use of face coverings and masks by transport workers in England.

​The document now states: ‘Face coverings are mandatory on public transport and in substantially enclosed public areas of transport hubs from which passenger services operate.’

Later on in the document, it states: ‘The mandatory requirement for using face coverings does not apply to staff while they are working. The requirement does however apply to staff while they are not working, for example, when travelling to or from work on public transport, or if they enter a shop or supermarket in a transport hub before or after sifts, or whilst on a break.

In any case, face coverings offer some benefits in work situations where social distancing is difficult to manage. For example, when working in passenger facing roles including when providing assistance to disabled passengers.’

If staff do wear a face covering, it is important that they follow the guidance on face coverings. You should support them in using face coverings safely.

This means telling workers to:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it
  • avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands – this is particularly important
  • change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • continue to wash your hands regularly
  • change and wash your face covering daily
  • if the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions – if it’s not washable, dispose of it safely
  • practise social distancing wherever possible

Workers should be made aware face coverings can prevent some disabled people from accessing oral information and instructions (from staff and fellow passengers).

Find the full, up-to-date Gov.UK document here.