Tuesday 23 April 2024
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Nottingham

Face masks not mandatory on Nottingham trams

The use of face masks on trams in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire will not be enforced after 19 July.

But passengers are being advised to “do the right thing” and continue using them or risk a Covid “free-for-all”.

This afternoon Nottingham Express Transit (NET), which operates the service, confirmed it will remove signs saying masks are mandatory.

On Monday Prime Minisiter Boris Johnson said that from July 19 face coverings on public transport will no longer be a legal requirement.

Decisions are being left to individual transport operators.

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NET’s decision was revealed at a meeting of the Greater Nottingham Light Rapid Transit advisory committee – a cross-council panel monitoring the success of the tram network.

Operations director for NET Mike Mabey told the committee signage will likely be taken down next week.

He said: “From July 19 we’re proposing that reliance is left on customers over whether they choose to wear face coverings or not.

“Personally I would [wear a mask] in a confined space like public transport, but it’s up to individuals over what action they take.

“It’s a difficult one, I think everybody has got their own thoughts on this. However, we’re maintaining that we’re going to follow the guidance and remove signage saying it’s mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport.”

Speaking in response to Mr Mabey, Councillor Gordon Wheeler (Con), of West Bridgford West, warned the move could pose a risk of infections on trams.

He called for “something different” to be implemented which still urges travellers to wear face masks.

“Even if you can’t force them to wear a mask, that encouragement should be there,” he said.

“Otherwise it will be a free-for-all, people will not wear masks.”

He added: “I would strongly urge NET on all the trams to have signage asking passengers to please, if possible, continue wearing a mask.

“Goodness knows what would happen otherwise.”

Responding to Cllr Wheeler, Mr Mabey said NET would still be telling customers to “do the right thing”.

Following a discussion, the panel voted to continue encouraging tram customers to wear face coverings and advise passengers of the benefits.

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