What has been announced by the Government?
What do I need to do?
Everyone must wear a face covering when making a journey, except if they have an exemption for health reasons (see below for more information), and this is a condition of travel.
Where do I wear the face covering?
On board all trains, buses and ferries and when you are at stations and interchanges.
What should the face covering be?
The face covering should cover the mouth and nose and can be something as simple as a snood, a scarf or a bandana tied snugly behind the head.
Are you giving away free face coverings?
We will not be handing out face coverings to customers – it is their own responsibility to provide one.
Who is going to police this?
It is not the job of Nexus employees to enforce Government public health instructions ourselves, but we have a key role to play in supporting their introduction as we seek to provide a Covid-secure environment our customers feel happy and comfortable using.
Will you be issuing fines to those not wearing masks? What will the fine be?
No. Our staff will be giving advice to passengers but enforcement of the rule will fall to Northumbria Police and the British Transport Police.
If you refuse to wear a face covering, you can receive a fine from the police. The fixed penalty notice will require you to pay £200 (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days).
Who is exempt from wearing a face covering? Do I need to be able to prove I have a condition?
Children under the age of 11, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties are exempt from the new rule, the Government has confirmed.
Our employees will not be asking people to show proof that they have a medical condition that exempts them from wearing a face covering.
If you have a disability or a medical condition that means that you are exempt from wearing a face covering on public transport, you may find it useful to download a Journey Assistance Card, available at nexus.org.uk/journey-assistance-cards. You can print this card at home or save it to your mobile phone. The Journey Assistance Card can be shown to staff when you are travelling on public transport in the North East of England.
Will a Metro driver refuse to move a train if they see people not wearing one?
No. It is not the remit of Metro drivers to enforce the rule.
Why was this not implemented ten weeks ago?
The public transport industry is following the advice set down by Government, who take their advice from Public Health England. From the outset of the pandemic the advice was that face masks were only of use in clinical and care settings.
The Government advised that people should wear a face covering on public transport from Sunday 10 May.
This has now become mandatory as more people go back to work and school and shops start to re-open. Passenger numbers are expected to rise and face coverings will be vital as it becomes harder to maintain social distancing on buses and trains.