Face coverings must be worn on public transport in England
Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport in England from June 15, Brirish Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.
Mr Shapps said "we need to ensure every precaution is taken" on buses, trains, aircraft and ferries as further lockdown measures are eased and passenger numbers increase.
Currently passengers in England are advised to wear a face covering but are not stopped from travelling without one.
Face coverings can be a scarf, piece of cloth or mask.
The British Government says they are "marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure", and states that evidence suggests face coverings do not protect the wearer, but may protect other people if he or she is infected.
Surgical masks should be reserved for people who need them for protection while at work such as medical staff, according to official advice.
London mayor Sadiq Khan was among those who have been lobbying the government to make face coverings mandatory on public transport.
He recently said he may introduce the policy for Transport for London (TfL) services, but was wary about causing "confusion".
Transport unions also urged ministers to enforce the wearing of face coverings after the deaths of dozens of workers.
Mr Shapps said on May 12 that 42 TfL workers and 10 mainline rail staff had died after being infected by coronavirus.
People are advised to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before a face covering is put on or taken off, and coverings should also be washed regularly.
In Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said she was due to meet the chief scientic adviser plus the justice minister tonight to discuss the wearing of face coverings on public transport.
Meeting w @naomi_long & the Chief Scientific Advisor tonight to discuss options on mandatory face coverings to protect operators & passengers. Meeting @Translink_NI & the unions tomorrow morning to agree the way forward. We need to get this right together for all #EssentialTravel— Nichola Mallon (@NicholaMallon) June 4, 2020