London drops face mask rules on public transport

Transport for London still encourages passengers to cover their faces

Passengers on London's Tube and buses will no longer need to wear face coverings. EPA

Masks will no longer be required on public transport in London from Thursday.

It was one of the few Covid restrictions remaining in England after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced people in England who test positive for coronavirus will no longer be legally required to isolate themselves.

The government had scrapped the requirement for people in England to wear face coverings on public transport on January 27, but Transport for London (TfL) kept the rule on its services.

TfL announced that face coverings will stop being a condition of carriage following the “shift in the government’s approach” towards living with coronavirus.

It added that “decreasing infection rates in London” were also a factor in its decision.

Despite face coverings being dropped, TfL said it “strongly encourages” passengers to continue to wear them to “keep each other as safe as possible”.

Lilli Matson, TfL’s chief safety, health and environment officer, said: “All customers should be assured that the public transport network is as safe as other similar settings, and that independent testing has found no trace of the coronavirus on our network since September 2020.

“We look forward to continuing to welcome customers back to our network as we help London and the economy recover.”

TfL said demand for public transport in the capital has grown in recent weeks.

Last week, between 2.2 million and 2.5 million journeys were made on the Tube each weekday, which is about 60 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Weekday bus use is at about 75 per cent of normal.

Updated: February 23, 2022, 3:00 PM