Wearing face coverings onboard our services from Tuesday 30th November

1 month ago Mon 29th Nov 2021

From 30th November it is a legal requirement to wear a face covering when onboard our buses and trams unless you are exempt from doing so. This new government guidance is outside our control, and we ask our customers to respect these rules so we can continue to keep our customers and colleagues safe.

We understand that it may take some time to get used to this change in government guidance and that due to this you may forget your face covering. Please do not worry if you do not have a face covering whilst boarding our buses or trams, simply ask your driver or conductor who will provide you with one free of charge. 

A face covering should cover both your mouth and nose whilst still allowing you to breathe comfortably. You can use a surgical mask, cloth mask or a scarf or bandana as long as they are fastened to your face securely.

Please be aware and respectful that for various reasons some customers do not need to wear a face covering because they are exempt.

Our Safer Journey Travel Cards have previously been successful in helping the Blackpool Transport team easily identify customers who are exempt from wearing a face covering. If you are unable to wear a face covering whilst travelling with us please, where possible, download and print one of our cards to show to our teams. You could also show this using your mobile device if you don’t have access to a printer.

If you don't have one of our exemption cards, please just let our team know that you are exempt as you board.

The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to you:

  • if you are a child under the age of 11
  • if you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip-reading to communicate
  • if you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • if you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • if you need to eat, drink, or take medication you can remove your face covering 
  • if you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official

You may also notice that whilst driving, our teams may not be wearing a mask. We have installed extra protective screens in the cab area and our drivers are in a stable, well-ventilated environment. Guidance from the government means that drivers do not need to wear a face covering if there are sufficient safety measures in place, so please don't worry if you see a driver not wearing a face covering.

Our drivers are asked to wear face coverings when entering the bus and cab or leaving their driver cab for any reason, including assisting customers. The only exception is if one of our drivers has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering, in this situation, they may wear a face shield

Why aren't drivers and conductors enforcing the rules?

Our drivers & conductors aim to ask every customer who boards without a face covering whether they are exempt from wearing one. If the customer isn’t exempt, we have face coverings available free of charge. Our teams are asked to advise, encourage and explain the regulations to customers. We ask our customers to work with us on this and do what is right for the health and safety of everybody. Unfortunately, we are unable to, nor is it realistic, for us to enforce the wearing of face coverings.

Will I get a fine if I'm not wearing a face covering onboard?

The police have been given authority to issue fines for customers travelling by transport without wearing a face covering unless exempt.

How do I let your drivers or conductors know I am exempt?

We have created a handy card that you can simply show to our teams, letting them know you are exempt. You will find an example of this card towards the top of this page and a link to download it. If you do not wish to download and show an exemption card, please let our teams know that you are exempt as you board. Otherwise, you may be asked by one of our teams if you are exempt from wearing a face covering.

Somebody on my bus is not wearing a face covering, what should I do?

Please remember that some people are exempt from wearing a face covering and not all disabilities or medical conditions are visible or immediately obvious.

Do children need to wear a face covering?

Children under the age of 11 do not need to wear a face covering on public transport. Children over the age of 11 should wear a face covering unless exempt.

Can I take my face covering off when I am onboard?

No, please wear your face covering throughout the duration of your journey, including when boarding or disembarking the bus.

Somebody on board isn't wearing their face covering properly, what are you doing about this?

We do our best to educate and inform customers on the current government guidance and how to wear their face covering properly. We expect our customers and our teams to work together during this difficult time so we can all play a part in keeping you safe.