Grant Shapps supports Sadiq Khan’s mask rules for London transportation.
Despite his own government scrapping required face coverings, the Transport Secretary has backed a proposal to make masks mandatory on the London Underground.
Despite Boris Johnson’s decision to ease legal limitations in England on Monday, Grant Shapps claimed the decision was “very much in line” with what ministers hoped to happen. Because the government decided to loosen restrictions, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was obligated to act to make masks a condition of carriage across the capital’s transportation network.
Mr Khan stated that relaxing the limits on facial coverings after so-called “freedom day” would put Tube, tram, and bus commuters in the capital “at risk.”
Enforcement officials would be empowered to restrict access or remove passengers who were deemed to be non-compliant while utilizing the Transport for London network under the conditions of use.
Mr. Shapps endorsed the plan, and ministers have recommended caution until limitations in England are relaxed on Monday.
“While we are moving from a legal mandate to guidelines, we do expect individual carriers to make sure they are putting in place whatever is necessary for their network,” the Transport Secretary told Sky News.
“The airlines have already stated that you will need to continue wearing masks on those,” he continued. It’s exactly what we expected – and hoped – to happen.”
Mr Khan told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that the London-wide regulation was a “imperfect solution” but one that was required since “we don’t have national backing.”
“The government has opted not to do it for their own reasons,” he told the BBC.
Boris Johnson would have risked a devastating Tory rebellion in the Commons if he had fought to keep the ban on facial coverings in place.
Unless they are exempt, passengers on all TfL services, including the Tube, bus, tram, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Overground, and TfL Rail, will be required to wear a face covering in stations and for the duration of their journey.
Mr Khan has also ordered TfL to take steps to ensure that masks are worn by both drivers and passengers in taxis and private hire vehicles unless they are exempt.
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