Face Covering Guidance for Passengers
12 June 2020
It is now mandatory for passengers to wear a face covering when travelling on Public Transport, this includes Diamond Bus Services.
Please find below information relating to these requirements.
What is Face Covering?
A Face Covering is a cloth covering that covers the wearer’s nose and mouth. This could include a scarf, bandanna or face mask which can be made at home. Government guidance is available for passengers to make their own masks from the Government website here.
A Face Covering is not required to be a medical grade PPE face mask. These items need to be reserved for health and care workers, people should ideally make or buy their own. However someone wearing PPE would be compliant with the regulation.
The Face Covering should be worn by the passenger fully over their nose and mouth when boarding and for the duration of their whole journey on the bus.
It is the customers responsibility to provide their own face covering as we do not provide these.
Who will have to wear Face Coverings?
All passengers will have to wear a Face Covering, however there are exemptions for certain people who may not be able to wear them.
Who is Exempt?
There are some exemptions for people who are not able to wear Face Coverings, these exemptions currently include those with:
- Breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions.
- Conditions effecting their dexterity, meaning they are not able to put on a Face Covering.
- Mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders.
- Other non-visible disabilities such as autism.
- Cognitive impairments, including dementia, who may not understand or remember the need to wear a Face Covering.
- Visual impairments, with a restricted field of vision, particularly if any residual vision is at the lower edge of the normal field of view.
- Impairments which would make it difficult to put on or take off a Face Covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain.
- Those who rely on lip reading. This would include carers who are travelling with someone for whom a Face Covering will inhibit communication.
- The regulation will not apply to children under 11, or children on dedicated school transport services.
Everyone is expected to wear a Face Covering if they can. The above list of exemptions is not exhaustive and would extend to someone who has a justifiable reason for not wearing one on the grounds of health or disability not outlined above.
Drivers will exercise reasonable discretion regarding exemptions from Face Coverings during the introduction of this regulation. However, we remind passengers that it is a legal requirement and passengers MUST wear a Face Covering unless they legitimately fall into the exemptions listed above. Passengers will not be allowed to travel without a Face Covering unless they are exempt.
Passengers who are exempt do not have to prove they have an exemption, however you may feel more comfortable travelling with an exemption card available from the Transport for West Midlands Website here or if you have a Sunflower lanyard you can show that to the driver.
Your driver may not be wearing a cloth face covering. This is because there are different regulations for Bus Drivers and other social distancing measures are in place to protect them and you. Drivers are provided with a clear face shield which they are required to wear when passengers are boarding or alighting, assisting passengers with disabilities or when social distancing can not be maintained. They are not required to wear an additional cloth face covering. They are not required to wear the shield whilst driving as with onboard social distancing measures in place, passengers are not within 2m of the driver whilst driving.
Who will enforce these regulations?
Drivers will have the authority to refuse a passenger travel if they refuse to wear a Face Covering when travelling.
Should a passenger become Anti-Social when requested to wear a Face Covering, the Police have the power to fine that person, in line with the existing Coronavirus regulations
We are continuing to work with the government and local authorities on further guidance. These regulations and the enforcement of them will continue to be reviewed and Diamond Bus will update this information in-line with changes in Government Policy, please continue to look for updates on our website and social media pages.
*Transport for West Midlands Face Covering Exemption Card
To support people with hidden health conditions or disabilities who are exempt from wearing a face covering, TfWM have produced an assistance card which can be downloaded from their website. Exempt passengers should carry this card and if asked why they are not wearing a face covering they can show this to a staff member or fellow passenger. The card can be printed on paper from the Network West Midlands website or shown as a screenshot on your mobile phone. Midlands Drivers will accept this card as proof of exemption from wearing a face covering whilst onboard. Exemption card available here.
This page was updated on 14 June 2021.