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Author Topic: Do I need to wear a facemask at a bus or railway station?  (Read 362 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

Quote
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:

Quote
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I thought that might be out of date ...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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