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Author Topic: Do I need to wear a facemask at a bus or railway station?  (Read 711 times)
grahame
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« on: July 27, 2020, 03:25:04 pm »

We all know now that we have to wear face masks on buses and trains, in the supermarket, and in our local butcher, baker and candlestick maker.  But do we have to wear them in train and bus stations?

National Rail at https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/face-coverings.aspx tells us

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In England and Scotland, face coverings are mandatory on board the train and in all enclosed areas of railway stations, from when you enter a station, throughout your journey and exiting the station at the other end. If you are then moving onto the bus, tram or tube, you should avoid taking off your face covering while interchanging and avoid touching your face or mouth unnecessarily.

and the government web site at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/face-coverings-mandatory-in-shops-supermarkets-shopping-centres-and-enclosed-transport-hubs-from-friday says

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Face coverings will be mandatory in additional enclosed public spaces from Friday 24 July – including shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs

I found comment on First Bus website at https://www.firstgroup.com/help-and-support/coronavirus-information/face-coverings which says:

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Q.  Do I need to wear it at the bus stop/station as well as on the bus?   No. Passengers on public transport will only be required to wear face coverings inside vehicles. However face coverings remain advisory if you are in enclosed public spaces where you cannot socially distance.

I thought that might be out of date ... but the page says "This page was last updated: 27/07/2020" .... I suspect it was updated, but that a change about at bus stations from optional to mandatory was missed.   Can anyone confirm?

I suspect that facemasks must now be worn (subject to the exemptions which First Bus estimate apply to 15% of passengers) on public transport and at enclosed areas at bus and railway stations - including is waiting shelters which are predominantly closed.   I noted people clustered in the bus stops in Melksham Town Centre when I walked through an hour or two ago, not wearing masks and in quite close proximity to one another; I wonder if the risk in using the bus is not so much on the bus, but at the sheltered bus stop.   I expect all these people in the cluster dutifully put their masks on and distanced when their bus came in and as they got on.

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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2020, 11:54:20 am »

In the absence of any follow ups here, I have spoken with First Bus ...

The government statement that face masks are mandatory (subject to exempt groups) in enclosed public spaces including bus stations is correct.   

The First Bus page that may suggest they are only advisory is confusing at best - it was explained to me that First Bus staff can only advise you to wear them in bus stations and they have no power of enforcement. However, it is a legal requirement that you wear them in there, and the police do have enforcement powers.

What constitutes an "enclosed public space" is a further interesting question.  My contact at First Bus was unsure as to what the legal situation is at waiting shelters which are predominantly closed - and if the bus companies that serve the shelters don't know, what chance have the users.  Personal view - wear the ****ing things if you're waiting in a bus shelter and if in doubt as to the safely, wait outside in the fresh air!
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 12:35:00 pm »

Mountains and molehills spring to mind here.

The government dictat decrees that face masks will be worn in enclosed areas. This does not include open areas. The logic presumably is that in enclosed areas virus spores are more likely to hang around in large numbers whilst in open areas they will tend to be dispersed.

There are open and closed areas at virtually all railway and bus stations, and perhaps some areas that are neither strictly one or the other. Let us take some examples:

Enclosed areas – a closed waiting room with doors; booking offices; enclosed bus waiting areas at bus stations such as Bath and Gloucester

Open areas at many wayside stations such as Thornford Bridge and Avoncliff. And bus stops where there are no shelters of any kind. Bus stations such as those at Chippenham and Wells

Neither one nor the other – bus shelters that have an opening in them but without a door. These tend to ventilate themselves. Railway stations with an overall roof such as Bristol Temple Meads and Frome – there is plenty of air movement in these.

But then we could get into all manner of places that do not fit easily into any category. How would you categorise terminal stations such as Paddington, Waterloo or Manchester Piccadilly? What about Weymouth or Swansea or Bradford Forster Square?? Is Birmingham New Street well-ventilated or not?

To get any single sensible policy to cover all of those would be unworkable and, more importantly, unenforceable.

I have long felt, and often written on his forum and others, that there are people around who want definitions about things that are difficult to define. This appears to be one of them.

Personally I would prefer that the government concentrated its efforts on the important things to do with COVID such as testing and tracing and funding vaccine research, rather than deciding if someone is committing am offence by standing all alone on Charlbury station without a face mask.

I feel a reality check is called for

« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 03:07:12 pm by Robin Summerhill » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 08:41:11 pm »

Same as the smoking ban perhaps, if in a railway station, wear it, or waiting for a bus, wear it.
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Sixty3Closure
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2020, 11:38:10 pm »

Travelling recently on the M4 I wasn't sure if Transport Hubs includes service stations. It looks like it does looking at the individual operators web pages although they all had different approaches.

And of course travelling over the Severn  Bridge (does anyone call it by its new name?) changed the rules again.

I'm beginning to feel wear a mask regardless except take up seem quite low especially amongst younger people and watching how people use them I'm not entirely convinced about how effective the measures are anyway. 
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Marlburian
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2020, 06:51:44 am »

On another forum, a visitor to Winchester remarked that non-wearers were mainly people in working-men's clothes aged between 25 and 45. Stories are appearing of wearers remonstrating with non-wearers. I suspect that the benefits of wearing masks are offset by their not being worn or put on sensibly.
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2020, 07:45:31 am »

On another forum, a visitor to Winchester remarked that non-wearers were mainly people in working-men's clothes aged between 25 and 45. Stories are appearing of wearers remonstrating with non-wearers. I suspect that the benefits of wearing masks are offset by their not being worn or put on sensibly.

Suggested guidance for those with a legal reason to not wear a face mask (I am just writing this and throwing a tiny stone into a huge pool here)

1. Please wear a face mask or visor if you safely can - even if you legally do not have to.  Reason - people are wearing masks to prevent the passing on of infection and not just to stick with the law.  There are cases and grey areas in the law - this is people's personal safety we're talking about though, so please do what is thoughtful for others.

2. Please wear a "Sunflower" (Hidden disability) lanyard if you can't wear a mask. And that's even if you feel your disability is blindingly obvious and not hidden.  Reason - that helps inform people that you are acting within the rules, and discourages them from challenging you.  It also lessens the pool of non-masked, non-labelled people and helps persuade everyone else that most people are following the rules and they should - i.e. it helps peer pressure on them to conform to the rules.

3. Please socially distance to a greater extent if you are not wearing a face covering. Reason - you don't have the protection that a mask provides to others, so please use distance to help protect those others.  You would want people to distance from you, right?

4. Please do not parade your exemption as a badge of honour.  Reason - your exemption is a caring concession and removes a safety barrier than everyone else is providing.  It is arrogant and antagonistic to others to use the concession in such a way that you appear to be taking a superior attitude.
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2020, 10:16:40 pm »

The Bristol Post making a big thing of Morrisons encouraging the use of Sunflower Lanyards.   Good on them .. but is it more a "me to" than a big thing, or are we in a public transport arena much more aware of the scheme that the general public?
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2020, 02:11:10 pm »

If a shelter has 3 closed side out of 4, they fall under the smoking ban and presumably the mask rules.
The only people who can enforce is the police and transport police (seen a debate elsewhere that possibly only the latter on vehicles)

The sunflower lanyards, the random print at home exemption cards, the phone app, none are worth the materials they are printed on as you don’t need to prove exemption to obtain them.

Whilst staff can’t enforce it seems other passengers want to become mask vigilantes. I’ve twice now had other passengers comment to passengers not wearing a mask (both times the non wearer was exempt)
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2020, 03:44:34 pm »

The sunflower lanyards, the random print at home exemption cards, the phone app, none are worth the materials they are printed on as you don’t need to prove exemption to obtain them.

As a means of proving exemption, I would agree.  BUT as a discreet way to tell people you need a bit of help beyond the norm - which is their stated purpose - From https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com
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Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower discreetly indicates to people around you including staff, colleagues and health professionals that you may need additional support, help or a little more time.

First Group at https://www.firstgroup.com/help-and-support/extra-help-travel offer a variety of "print at home and cut out" cards - downloadable as a .pdf and also mirrored ((here))

I do understand your misgivings about the ones on page 3 which explicitly state " Please be supportive. I have a disability and am exempt from wearing a face covering", but I'm fine with the others ...
   " Please speak slowly, I am hard of hearing"
   " Please wait for me to sit down, in case I fall"
both of which could actually apply to me - though I choose NOT to have the cards as I do NOT need
   " Please be patient, I have difficulty in speaking"
... in fact others have trouble shutting me up!

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Whilst staff can’t enforce it seems other passengers want to become mask vigilantes. I’ve twice now had other passengers comment to passengers not wearing a mask (both times the non wearer was exempt)

I wonder whether the sunflower lanyards might help allay unwanted vigilante activities. For they say to the potential vigilante that the person they're about to challenge has at least considered the norm and places him/herself outside that norm.
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Phil
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2020, 04:18:33 pm »

I was faced with a conundrum at Westbury station while waiting for my train home last week. I invariably wear a face-mask, however I'd bought a cup of tea. Should I have (a) moved out from the undercover area to the open platform where I could safely remove my face covering and drunk my tea there, (b) sneakily removed my mask to sip my tea hoping nobody was looking, ( c) asked for a straw, (d) left the station altogether and risked missing my train (e) waited 35 minutes until I got back to Melksham and drunk it cold when I stepped beyond the station area or (f) admitted to myself that I was stupid to have bought it and poured it onto the track? [bearing in mind that it was howling a gale and the rain was coming down sideways, thus influencing options (a) (d) and (e)]
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Lee
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2020, 04:58:26 pm »

I was faced with a conundrum at Westbury station while waiting for my train home last week. I invariably wear a face-mask, however I'd bought a cup of tea. Should I have (a) moved out from the undercover area to the open platform where I could safely remove my face covering and drunk my tea there, (b) sneakily removed my mask to sip my tea hoping nobody was looking, ( c) asked for a straw, (d) left the station altogether and risked missing my train (e) waited 35 minutes until I got back to Melksham and drunk it cold when I stepped beyond the station area or (f) admitted to myself that I was stupid to have bought it and poured it onto the track? [bearing in mind that it was howling a gale and the rain was coming down sideways, thus influencing options (a) (d) and (e)]

You think you had it bad - Imagine those at Saint Brieuc contemplating getting a takeaway coffee at a station where the mask is mandatory on the station premises, on the train, and in the town centre zone within which the station is situated  Grin
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grahame
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2020, 08:03:37 pm »

I was faced with a conundrum at Westbury station while waiting for my train home last week. I invariably wear a face-mask, however I'd bought a cup of tea. Should I have ...

(g) - walk toward the north east end of the platform the buffet is on - hardly anyone around the cycle racks beyond the stairs to the subway and still under cover.  In spite of "please distance" people seem to be gravitating toward the centre of the platform and trains.

Option (h) by private message
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2020, 08:45:15 pm »

I was faced with a conundrum at Westbury station while waiting for my train home last week. I invariably wear a face-mask, however I'd bought a cup of tea. Should I have (a) moved out from the undercover area to the open platform where I could safely remove my face covering and drunk my tea there, (b) sneakily removed my mask to sip my tea hoping nobody was looking, ( c) asked for a straw, (d) left the station altogether and risked missing my train (e) waited 35 minutes until I got back to Melksham and drunk it cold when I stepped beyond the station area or (f) admitted to myself that I was stupid to have bought it and poured it onto the track? [bearing in mind that it was howling a gale and the rain was coming down sideways, thus influencing options (a) (d) and (e)]

You were covered by the following exemption;

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Legitimate reasons not to wear a face covering
You also do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes:

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 help 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 on public transport
if you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard

Yep number 6!!!
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2020, 07:29:44 pm »

On travelling to Bath recently there seems to be a mixed confusion about this, with some people wearing theirs at the bus stations, other's not going so, and some immediately removing theirs after getting off the bus even though in an enclosed space.


Whilst the scientific evidence might change, a clear and constant message is needed, thankfully I think it is starting to get through.
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