Leicester City Mayor has called on bus operators to continue to require passengers to wear face masks despite the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions on Monday, July 19.
Sir Peter Soulsby, issued an open letter addressing what he calls “the significant level of uncertainty and public discontent” regarding the current guidance on face mask wearing after Freedom Day.
He is urging all Leicester bus operators to “be responsible” as cases continue to rise across Leicestershire.
Companies including Arriva, First Leicester and Centrebus have all issued their latest guidance for passengers and are obeying the Mayor’s requests.
It comes as the city’s Director of Public Health, Prof. Ivan Browne is urging the continued wearing of face coverings in places where people will come into close contact with each other and where social distancing is impossible.
In the letter, Mayor Soulsby said: “No doubt you will have picked up on the significant level of uncertainty and public discontent has been generated in recent days regarding the lack of absolute clarity around the continued use of face coverings in certain spaces or venues…
“As the city continues to gradually reopen and recover, many of our citizens, especially those more vulnerable, will once again want to use buses for work or other reasons.
“Of course, I’m sure many people will make the right decision about the use of face covering son buses, and I’m sure you understand fully the need for people to feel safe and confident in services when travelling.
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“However, for the avoidance of any doubt, to be absolutely certain about the position in Leicester, and to ensure the safety of all our citizens , I would strongly encourage all bus operators to require all passengers to wear face coverings as a condition of service. I am aware that colleagues across up and down the country and across the political divide have made the same request.
“As responsible operators I’m certain that you will make the right decision, and that people will once again be able to use your services with confidence and with the assurance that their safety is paramount.”
What the bus firms say
LeicesterFirst issued a Tweet on Friday, July 16 informing its passengers that Covid-19 safety measures will remain place.
It said: “Following changes to government guidance, there are no restrictions to bus capacity from Monday but we are recommending passengers wear a face covering (if they can) especially when services are busy.”
Centrebus too, complied with the Mayor’s request to help stop the spread of the virus.
Arriva East Midlands followed suit saying: “As lockdown restrictions are lifted, please travel safely:
From 19th July, it is expected that passengers wear a face covering in busy spaces
Please pay by contactless or use the app.
If paying cash, please pay the exact fare if possible
Plan your journeys in advance”