Do you have to wear masks on public transport? UK face covering rules on bus, train and plane from 19th July

Transport services across England will have different requirements from 19 July, with some still enforcing the wearing of face coverings
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The majority of legal restrictions on social contact in England have been lifted from today (19 July), however, the wearing of face coverings is still recommended in some places.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on 12 July that the legal requirement to wear a mask on public transport will end on 19 July, meaning it will technically no longer be mandatory to wear a mask on trains, buses, or other forms of public transport after this date.

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Commuters with facemasks travel on the London Underground in London (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)Commuters with facemasks travel on the London Underground in London (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)
Commuters with facemasks travel on the London Underground in London (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

However, many transport companies across England have said they will continue to enforce the wearing of face coverings in their stations and on their services.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously said that he was ‘very relaxed’ about transport companies having their own rules around mask-wearing.

‘We are shifting to this next phase where people use common sense and personal responsibility to decide these things and I think that is actually a sensible way forwards,’ he told MPs in the Commons.

‘If organisations require it to be a condition of carriage then I am very relaxed about that and it is up to them to do.’

Here is a breakdown of the transport operators that will still require face coverings


Train passengers will no longer be forced to wear face masks, The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has said. The RDG represents all UK train and tram operators.

They said: "rail travel is low-risk" and claimed most carriages are "well ventilated by air conditioning systems or by doors and windows".

Coach and bus

Most coach and bus passengers across England will not be required to wear face masks.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which represents 95% of buses and coaches, said it would not make them compulsory.

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Air passengers will still be required to wear face masks at airports and on flights.

UK airports and airlines confirmed the requirement will remain a condition of carriage from July 19.

In a joint statement, Iata, Airlines UK, the Airport operators Association (AOA) and UK Board of Airline Representatives (BAR-UK) confirmed: “Passengers will be requested to help fellow travellers and airport and airline staff by taking this measure . . Where necessary the requirement will be enforced through denial of boarding.”

Some airlines, including Ryanair and EasyJet, have already said that passengers will still be required to wear masks on their flights.

Transport for London

All Transport for London (TfL) services - including the Tube, bus, tram, Docklands Light Railway, Overground and TfL Rail - will require passengers to keep wearing a face covering in stations and for the entire journey unless they are exempt.

TfL will also ensure taxi and private hire vehicle drivers and passengers wear masks, unless exempt.

Enforcement officers in London will be able to deny access or eject passengers who are found to not be complying with the mask requirement.

North East of England and Manchester

Passengers on the Metro services in the North East and those on Greater Manchester’ Metrolink tram services and at Manchester Airport will still be required to wear a face covering.

Liverpool City Region

Masks will continue to be mandatory on Mersey Ferries and the ferry landing stage.

West Midlands

Mayor Andy Street has said he is expecting “passengers on all modes of public transport to continue to wear face coverings to protect staff and vulnerable passengers."