Face coverings mandatory from today for users of public transport and taxis

  • Video report by Mike Griffiths

Face coverings are now mandatory in Wales for people using public transport and taxis.

From today, drivers, guards and other transport operators may ask people not to board vehicles if they are not wearing face coverings.

If necessary fixed penalty notices may be issued by the police, with a fine of £60 in the first instance subsequently doubling in the event of repeated offences.

Economy minister Ken Skates said the changes were being made to “reduce the risk of public transmission of coronavirus.”

From today the vast majority of our public transport users in Wales will be required to wear a face covering while travelling on our buses, our trains and in taxis.

  • The key dates you need to know as lockdown is eased further in Wales

The wearing of face coverings is already mandatory for users of public transport – and shoppers – in England and Scotland.

In Wales, anyone over the age of 11 will be required to use a face covering, although there will be exemptions for people with certain health conditions, including respiratory diseases.

People are advised to wear a face covering made up of three layers of the same close knit, or close woven material.

The Welsh Government say the move “will help operators to increase capacity on trains and buses.”

But Cardiff Bay is still asking people to “consider their reasons for using public transport”, and to give priority to critical workers and those with no alternative means of transport.

Treatments to the face are still not allowed under the new guidelines. Credit: Harley Budd

It comes as further lockdown restrictions are eased, with cinemas, beauty salons and tattoo studios in Wales all reopening from today.

Jules Lee, who owns a tattoo studio in Bangor, was getting ready to receive her first customer at midnight on 27 July. She said she “couldn’t wait” to get back to business after four months of inactivity.

“Its been far too long”, she told ITV Cymru Wales. “That’s why we decided to do this celebration actually. My customer’s been waiting a long time to get her tattoo finished!”

Tattooist Jules Lee talks about her excitement over reopening:

Arcades, galleries and massage therapists can also reopen today for the first time since non-essential businesses were told to shut their doors in March.

Under the plans, beauty therapists will not be able to provide treatments to the face.

The viewing of occupied homes for rent or sale will restart in the housing market and driving lessons will also resume, although instructors and students will be required to wear face-coverings, with cars sanitised between lessons.

Driving theory tests will restart on 3 August, with practical tests from 17 August.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be able to open indoors in Wales from August 3 if the reopening of the hospitality sector outdoors goes well.

The First Minister said he has a long list of industries and sectors that will take priority in Welsh Government discussions over what can be reopened next.

During a press conference on 3 July, Mark Drakeford said gyms are not included on that list and are “not likely to be reopened for a while”, as they have “emerged globally as a source of coronavirus infection,” he said.

Gyms in Wales have called for a date on when they can reopen after their counterparts in England were told they can start operating at the end of the month.

  • My eyes are my ears: Why face masks are a big problem for people with hearing loss

  • Differences between UK nations’ Covid-19 response diminish as reopenings gather pace in Wales

Source Article