Questions and answers
What is a face covering and where can I get one?
Passengers can wear home-made face coverings. A face covering can be very simple, like a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head to give a snug fit. It just needs to cover your mouth and nose.
Please refer to Government guidance on how to make and wear a face covering.
Do I need to wear it at the bus stop/station as well as on the coach?
No. Passengers on public transport will only be required to wear face coverings while on-board vehicles. However, face coverings remain advisory if you are in enclosed public spaces where you cannot socially distance.
Those exempt from wearing a face covering include people who have:
- Breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions.
- Conditions affecting their dexterity, meaning they are not able to put on a face covering.
- Mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders.
- Other non-visible disabilities such as autism.
- Cognitive impairments, including dementia, who may not understand or remember the need to wear a face covering.
- Visual impairments, with a restricted field of vision, particularly if any residual vision is at the lower edge of the normal field of view.
- Impairments which would make it difficult to put on or take off a face covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain.
- We also expect there to be reasonable judgement to ensure people can respond appropriately to avoid the risk of harm to themselves or others and seek emergency medical assistance if required.
- The exemptions also apply to those who rely on lip reading. This would include carers who are travelling with someone for whom a face covering will inhibit communication.
- You will be able to remove your face covering for taking essential medication.
- The regulation will not apply to children under 11, or children on dedicated school transport services, however it is the preference of Horseman Coaches that all passenger adhere to this guidance.
Will face coverings be available at bus stations and on-board coaches?
Operators will not be able to provide face coverings on-board, but they may be available at some bus stations and interchanges.
If someone is travelling without a face covering what should I do?
We believe people will follow the rules on wearing a face covering on public transport. Police and transport staff will continue to reiterate Government messaging and the police will ultimately be able to fine people as a last resort.
Please also bear in mind that some passengers are exempt from the requirement to wear one and the reasons for some exemptions may not be immediately obvious.
How will the wearing of face coverings be enforced?
The British Transport Police and police forces generally will have powers to fine those not wearing face coverings on public transport, although this would be a last resort.
Will drivers be wearing face coverings?
Some drivers are exempt from wearing a face covering. All drivers undergo a non-contact thermometer temperature check prior to starting their shift.
How will drivers know if someone is exempt from the requirement to wear a face covering?
We would ask that passengers work with us and comply with the requirement to wear a face covering if they can. For those who are unable to do so they should inform the driver. The journey assistance card scheme is being updated to enable passengers who are exempt to obtain or print a card explaining this should they find that helpful.
A journey assistance card can be obtained from our office.
Will drivers be expected to call the police if someone refuses to wear a face covering?
Drivers will have discretion to take the most appropriate form of action and this may include in some limited circumstances contacting the Police through their control room. This is not something we would expect a driver to do as a matter of course.
If I use a face covering, will there be somewhere to leave it when I get off the bus?
No, it is important for everyone’s safety that passengers take used face coverings with them and dispose of them carefully.
Can I drink water on a coach on a hot day and remove my face covering to do so?
Yes, we ask passengers to adopt a sensible approach and consider others.
What about longer journeys do I need to wear a face covering for the whole time?
Yes, you are required to carry a face covering and use it on your journey on public transport in England.
We ask people to 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. People should avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until they have an opportunity to wash them.