Coronavirus Face Coverings FAQ's
Since Monday 27 July 2020, it is mandatory to wear a three-layer face covering on all public transport in Wales. It is important that you follow this government instruction for your safety and the safety of your fellow passengers and our colleagues. For information on how we are making our services safer, please visit our Coronavirus Updates page HERE.
Q. What is a face covering and where can I get one?
A. A face covering acts to protect others by reducing airborne transmission of COVID-19. A face covering should cover your mouth and nose snugly while still allowing you to breathe comfortably. You can buy three-layer coverings from many retailers but the Government have also put together a guide showing you how to make your own. How to make a three-layer face covering.
When putting coverings on, and while they are on, you should only handle the straps, ties or clips. Do not touch the front of the covering or the part that has been in contact with you mouth or nose. You should wash your hands thoroughly or use sanitiser before and after removing.
Q. Are there exemptions from the new regulations?
A. The Government has released a list of exemptions and reasons why some people will not have to wear face coverings. Exemptions include:
- Children under the age of 11
- Staff members while undertaking duties
- Police Officers who need to board vehicles in the course of their duties to enforce the law
Some passengers may have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering for all or part of a journey. A reasonable excuse includes:
- A physical or mental illness or a disability or impairment
- Accompanying somebody who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate
- You are escaping from a threat or danger and you don't have a face covering
Transport for Wales has developed a personalised and discreet exemption note that you can apply for online here or via phone on 0300 303 4240.
A full list of exemptions is provided via the Welsh Government website.
Q. What happens if I don't wear a face covering?
A. It is a legal requirement. Using public transport without a valid exemption or reasonable excuse is against the law and as such police or environmental health officers can issue fixed penalty notices for breaches of these requirements. A first offence is punishable by a penalty of £60 (which doubles for each subsequent offence up to a maximum of £1920). Repeat offenders could also be prosecuted.
As per the guidelines, drivers and other company staff are not expected to take enforcement action. However, they have a general right to refuse entry or boarding if circumstance necessitates. This is to keep our staff safe and free from potential altercations as have been seen elsewhere in the UK.
Q. Do children need to wear a face covering on the bus?
A. Children under the age of 11 are exempt from wearing a face covering. Children over this age must wear a face covering unless they satisfy any of the exemptions or reasonable excuses that are listed above.
Q. How will drivers know if someone is exempt from wearing a face covering for travelling?
A. If you are exempt, you will need to apply for a personalised exemption note from Transport for Wales as explained above. The Welsh Government also advises passengers to carry information, if possible, which demonstrates why they have an exemption or reasonable excuse.
Q. I've forgotten my face covering can I still travel?
A. It is mandatory to wear a face-covering on all public transport in Wales from 27 July. Unless you are exempt, you should not travel on public transport without a face covering.
Q. Why are drivers allowing some people without coverings to use your services?
A. Please bear in mind that some customers will be exempt from wearing face coverings on public transport. The reason for their exemption may not be immediately obvious and some disabilities are hidden disabilities. The bus drivers are not required by law to take enforcement of the face-covering regulation.
Q. If someone is travelling without a face covering what shall I do?
A. Please do not challenge other customers who are not wearing face coverings. As above, please bear in mind that some customers will be exempt from wearing face coverings on public transport. The reason for their exemption may not be immediately obvious and some disabilities are hidden disabilities.
Q. Do the drivers have to wear a face-covering while driving?
A. Our drivers have a protective screen that acts as a barrier keeping them and customers safe. This barrier is more effective than a face covering so they will not need to wear them. This also helps those customers who may rely on lip reading to assist in communication. However, if the driver needs to leave the cab to provide assistance, they must wear a face covering.
Q. Will face coverings be provided at bus stations and on board vehicles?
A. No, customers have the responsibility to bring their own face covering.
Q. Do I need to wear it at the bus stop/station as well as on the bus?
A. Currently the guidance states that wearing a face covering is only mandatory while on board public transport. But please be prepared to wear it as soon as you step on board and keep it on for the duration of your journey. Please follow any local advice at bus stations and remember to keep a 2m distance at stops allowing customers to alight before boarding.
Q. Can I remove my face covering while I am on the bus?
A. No. You should wear your face covering at all times while on board and only remove it once you have alighted the bus unless you are covered under Welsh Government's list of exemptions.
Q. Can I drink or eat on the bus and remove my covering to do so?
Under the Government's 'Travel Safer' guidance customers are asked not to eat or drink while on board our services unless it is to take medication or you must eat or drink due to a medical condition.
Q. Will there be any different rules or requirements for longer or shorter bus journeys?
A. While we know that wearing a face covering won't be the most comfortable experience on longer journeys, it is necessary for all customers to follow the guidance to keep everyone safe.
Q. If I use a face covering will there be somewhere to leave it when I get off the bus?
A. No, it is important for everyone's safety that you take any used face coverings with you and dispose or re-use them in accordance with Government guidance.
Q. Is there anything else I should know in relation to face coverings?
A. Please avoid touching your face when wearing a face covering. Do not touch the material when removing the covering. Do not share face coverings. Wash after each use. Dispose of them carefully. More guidance can be found on Welsh Government's FAQs