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SPT Chair calls on mandatory face coverings on public transport

SPT Chair, Councillor Dr Martin Bartos, has called on the Scottish Government to make wearing of face coverings mandatory on public transport. In a letter to the transport secretary Michael Matheson, Dr Bartos says a mandatory requirement would be the most effective way to get people to wear face coverings when travelling.

With a review of current lockdown measures expected tomorrow, and Scottish Government moves to the next phase in its route map out of the Coronavirus crisis, Dr Bartos believes a mandatory wearing of face coverings on public transport would help reassure the public as they start to move around more.

In his letter, Dr Bartos said:

“Current figures show there has been worryingly low uptake of face coverings on public transport despite repeated urging since last month by the First Minister and the prominent display by SPT and others of Transport Scotland’s messaging framework.

“Given the importance of consistency across modes and journeys, a mandatory requirement in Scotland would be the most effective way forwards to address this and SPT would welcome the clarity that adopting such a position would provide.”

Dr Bartos urges the cabinet secretary to also consider whether the introduction of mandatory face coverings would also allow for a review of the current 2m physical distancing  on public transport which many operators find challenging.

It is his hope that with mandatory face coverings in place that, that might “justifiably permit closer proximity in public places achieving both the public health effects and practical transport and economic recovery benefits we collectively need”.

Link to letter to Cabinet Secretary Mr Matheson 16 June 2020.