Face masks must be worn on public transport says latest government advice

From 15th June it will be compulsory to wear a face mask on public transport in England and Wales as the government outline their strategy to reduce spread of coronavirus

face mask
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It will be compulsory to wear a face mask on all public transport including buses, trams, trains, coaches, aircraft and ferries from 15th June, as the government announce further plans to limit the spread of coronavirus while loosening lockdown restrictions.

While there has been much debate over recent months over the effectiveness of wearing a face mask, there is plenty of recent, robust medical research that concludes that even basic masks can help prevent the spread of infection, including a recent publication by Stanford University. 

As early as April, Prof. David Heymann, WHO advisor, spoke about the importance of wearing masks on BBC news, so it's encouraging to see that the government have now made it mandatory to wear one if you're making use of public transport.

For more health-related advice, visit our hub page. We've also included links to buy face masks at the bottom of this page.

Speaking about the new guidance, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the only exception would be for very young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties, who may be negatively affected by wearing a face mask

He also commented on the consequences of not wearing a face mask, stating that refusal could ultimately lead to individuals incurring fines and questioning why people wouldn't want to do the right thing.

In terms of choosing a face mask, Shapps urged the public to save medical grade face masks for those who need them in clinical settings, stating that we should be opting for homemade solutions instead. These could include something as simple as a scarf, bandana or similar, which can be folded over to create layers and protect individuals from spreading – or contracting – coronavirus. 

Where to buy face masks

Disposable child's face mask | Only £4.92/$5.99 on Newchic

This disposable face mask is designed for children. It is more comfortable for them to wear than adult sizes but still offers optimum protection.View Deal

10PCS Disposable Dustproof Breathable Face Mouth Cover for Paint, Garden, Blue A73 | £8.88 at Amazon
This best seller from Amazon is a pretty straight forward example of a face mask, but it gets the job done.View Deal

Procedure Medical Surgical Protection Face Masks, 3-Ply, Earloop, Sealed in a Bag of (10 Pieces) | £8.79 at Amazon
These simple face masks are single use and offer free delivery. They boast 95% filtration efficiency and comply with European standards.View Deal

O'lemon Full Face Protective Shield Visor | £2.49 at Amazon
If you know someone working on the front line who doesn't have suitable protective equipment, it may be worth picking up a protective face mask in a bid to help them stay safe until PPE stocks are distributed to all who need it.View Deal

Kids and Adult Cotton Face Mask | £6.00 at Etsy
Suitable for adults and children, these patterned face masks are reusable – simply wash between uses – and boast some super adorable patterns that we simply can't get enough of.View Deal

Organic Cotton Face Masks | £8.95 at Etsy
A great option for those with sensitive skin, or who are concerned about the environmental impact of single-use face masks, these organic cotton face masks can be washed between uses and boast beautiful patterned finishes.

Please note: we totally understand that single use masks are essential for many at this time and whole-heartedly support the use of disposable face masks for those who need to protect themselves, we're simply seeking to offer a more sustainable alternative to those who want it and for whom it's a suitable solution. View Deal

Reusable Cotton Face Masks & Filters | from £4.49 at Wowcher
These reusable face masks come with replaceable cotton filters which can be exchanged after a single use.View Deal

20 disposable 3-layer face masks | Only £17.49/$21.29 on Newchic

Block viruses, dirt, dust and pollen with these three-layer face masks. They are breathable and designed to sit more comfortably on the face.

View Deal

Disposable child's face mask | Only £4.92/$5.99 on Newchic

This disposable face mask is designed for children. It is more comfortable for them to wear than adult sizes but still offers optimum protection.View Deal

Something as simple as an infinity scarf or bandana can function effectively as a face mask.

Manumar Loop Scarf | £12.95 at Amazon
Made from 70% polyester, 30% viscose, this neutral scarf offers plenty of fabric layers and could we worn across the face to protect the nose and mouth while out and about.View Deal

Liberty of London Handmade Silk Crepe Infinity Scarf | £35 at Etsy
Made from a gorgeous silk fabric, this infinity scarf might be an option for those with particularly sensitive skinView Deal

Toddler Infinity Scarves | £6.89 at Etsy
Designed to be smaller in size, these toddler infinity scarves are a much more appealing option if you're looking for easy ways to protect a little one. Not to mention that they're super sweet.View Deal

Infinity Scarf Vita Loop Scarf with Hidden Zipper Pocket | £8.49 at Amazon
Another great option for those seeking an infinity scarf, this option can be folded over to achieve the multiple layers of fabric we're all encouraged to look for when creating a DIY face mask. Plus, it also has a hidden pocket for storing essentials.View Deal

Buff Coolnet UV+® Buff | From £9.99 on Wiggle

This Buff scarf can be worn as a headband, hairband, scarf, bandana or in this case, a face mask. The material is lightweight and breathable, so perfect for the warmer weather. Plus, it has UV protection so great for sun protection, too.View Deal

Plain Infinity Multifunctional Neck Warmer Snood | £6.99 at Amazon
Available in a variety of colours, this neck warmer snood pulls over the face with ease to provide a layer of protection.View Deal

Buff Camino de Santiago Coolnet UV+® Buff | £12.74 - £13.46 at Wiggle
Another option for those looking for a breathable fabric buff that can also double as a protective face mask, this is super lightweight, protects against UV and can be folded over to achieve plenty of protective layers.View Deal

Emily Shaw
Emily Shaw

Emily first (temporarily) joined the Real Homes team while interning on her summer break from university. After graduating, she worked on several publications before joining Real Homes as Staff Writer full time in mid-2018. She loves a second-hand bargain and sourcing unique finds to make her rented flat reflect her personality.