Last updated 29/11/2021
Changes to government guidance in England from Tuesday 30th November require face coverings to be compulsory again in shops and on public transport.
So, in England, Scotland and Wales you must wear a face covering throughout your whole journey, unless you’re exempt.
Here are the key facts you need to know:
Q. What is a face covering and where can I get one?
A. A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while still allowing you to breathe comfortably, for example a scarf or bandana that ties snugly behind the head. You can buy a face covering but the Government has put together a guide showing you how you can make your own. Check out the Government guide.
Q. Will your drivers wear a face covering?
A. We've given face coverings to all of our frontline employees who can wear one, although some of our staff may be exempt. Our drivers have a protective screen that acts as a barrier but If the driver needs to leave their cab to help a customer, they must wear a face covering, if they can.
Q. Who is exempt from wearing a face covering?
A. A list of people who are exempt from wearing a face covering can be found on your government’s website:
Face covering exemptions in England
Face covering exemptions in Scotland
Face covering exemptions in Wales
We've updated our Journey Assistance cards so you can show the driver that you're exempt. Apply for your Journey Assistance card.
Q. I’m hearing impaired and can’t read lips if someone is wearing a face covering.
A. We’ve updated our Journey Assistance Cards to include a relevant card that will let the driver know you need to see their lips. If your driver is wearing a face covering they’ll lower it when speaking with you. Their cab has a clear protective screen which acts as a barrier against spreading the virus.
Q. Do children need to wear a face covering?
A. Children under the age of 11 (or under 5s in Scotland) are exempt from wearing a face covering. Children over this age must wear a face covering, unless they're exempt on medical grounds, in line with government guidance.
Q. What happens if I don't wear a face covering?
A. If you don’t wear a face covering you could be fined.
Q. I've forgotten my face covering can I still travel?
A. It's compulsory to wear a face covering when travelling on public transport, unless you're exempt. Our drivers do have the discretion to refuse customers or contact the police where they think it is necessary.
Q. Why are drivers not preventing people who aren't wearing a face covering from travelling?
A. In line with the government guidelines, we are asking our drivers to engage, encourage and explain the guidance to customers. As wearing of face covering has now been in place for a while, we’d expect our customers to follow the latest guidance and rules.
Q. If someone is travelling without a face covering what should I do?
A. Please bear in mind that some people are exempt from wearing a face covering and the reason why may not be immediately obvious. Our drivers will remind passengers that they should wear a face covering when travelling by bus unless they are exempt.
Q. Will there be a fine for not wearing a face covering? How much will it be?
A. No, customers have a responsibility to bring their own face covering.
Q. Do I need to wear it in bus stations as well as on the bus?
A. Yes, you should wear face coverings throughout your journey, including when in indoor public buildings.
Q. Are face coverings required if the bus or coach service isn't open to the public?
A. Yes, they're required on all buses and coaches in England, Scotland and Wales.
Q. Can I remove my face covering while I am on the bus or tram?
A. If you’re wearing a face covering, you should wear it at all times while on the bus and only remove it once you get off, unless you’re covered under the Government's list of exemptions.
Q. Can I drink water on a bus or coach on a hot day and remove my face covering to do so?
A. Yes, but please replace your face covering as soon as you've taken a drink.
Q. Has there been any consideration around the fact that coach journeys can be lengthy and we will be asking passengers to wear a mask for a considerable amount of time?
A. While we know wearing a face covering won't be the most comfortable experience, it's necessary to keep everyone safe. We know that being able to eat and drink on a long journey, and other practical functions need to be taken into consideration, especially for those with medical needs.
Q. If I use a face covering, will there be somewhere to leave it when I get off the bus?
A. No, it's important for everyone's safety that you take any used face coverings with you and dispose of them carefully.
We ask that you follow the advice on using face coverings closely, which is to wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on and after taking it off, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you've had an opportunity to wash them.