16 Jun 2020
The UK government has said face coverings will be compulsory on public transport from 15 June. This is an added level of safety for you, your fellow passengers and our drivers.
Most passengers are looking to do the right thing and are very supportive of the changes. However, we know that it will take some time for passengers to adapt to this new requirement. As with any change in any part of life there may be instances where people forget or aren't aware and we are helping our passengers to understand the new guidance. We have detailed information on our buses and across our website and social media channels, and we will continue to remind people of the importance of following the new rules to help themselves and their fellow passengers.
We understand that some people will be unable to wear a face covering and government guidelines have included some exemptions. A list of these exemptions can be found here. We've updated our Journey Assistance scheme so that anyone who is exempt from wearing a face covering will be able to show the card to their driver. Find out more about Journey Assistance here.
Please bear in mind that some people are exempt from wearing a face covering and the reason why may not be immediately obvious. This is a big change and may take a little time for people to get used to, our drivers will remind passengers that face coverings are now mandatory when travelling by bus unless you are exempt.
You may notice your driver isn’t wearing a mask, this is because our drivers have a protective screen that acts as a barrier. If your driver needs to leave their cab, they must wear a face covering. This is in line with advice from the Government and the Department for Transport.
For more information visit our FAQ page here.
The government has outlined some helpful tips of the dos and don’t of wearing a face covering;
✔️ Do wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off
✔️ Do wash your face covering regularly
✔️ Do store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.
❌ Don’t replace social distancing and washing hands with wearing a face covering - you should be still adhering to these guidelines.
❌ Don’t remove your face covering to talk
❌ Don’t touch your face covering once it has been secured
❌ Don’t use surgical masks or other PPE intended for healthcare workers
We’re all about sustainability at Stagecoach, and would encourage passengers to wear a reusable face covering. This could be something as simple as a scarf or bandana - providing that it covers your nose and mouth and can be secured, whilst allowing you to breathe comfortably. If you want to make your own face covering the steps below, from the government, are a handy guide on how to do so.
Using a T-shirt
You will need:
Step 1: Cut a straight line across the width of the T-shirt (front and back) approximately 20cm from the bottom of the T-shirt.
Step 2: From a point 2cm below the top right-hand corner of the fabric, make a 15cm horizontal cut through both sides of the fabric that is parallel to the top of the rectangle.
Step 3: Cut down towards the bottom of the fabric until you reach approximately 2cm above the bottom edge. From here, make another 15cm cut that runs parallel to the bottom of the fabric to make a rectangle that can be discarded.
Step 4: To make the ties, cut open the edge of the 2 long strips of fabric. Unfold the main piece of fabric and place over the mouth and the nose. The 4 strips act as ties to hold the cloth face covering in place and should be tied behind the head and around the neck.
A sewn cloth face covering
You will need:
Step 1: Cut out two 25cm x 25cm squares of cotton fabric. Put the 2 squares on top of each other.
Step 2: Fold over one side by 0.75cm and hem, then repeat on the opposite side. Make 2 channels by folding the double layer of fabric over 1.5cm along each side and stitching this down.
Step 3: Run a 20cm length of elastic (or string or cloth strip) through the wider hem on each side of the face covering. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle to thread it through. Tie the ends tightly.
If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the covering behind your head.
Step 4: Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the covering on the elastic and adjust so the covering fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping. These elastic loops fit over the ears.