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..to expect people to wear a mask on the bus or have I misinterpreted 'mandatory'?

(187 Posts)
RingPiece Fri 19-Jun-20 00:59:58

Got the bus home from work today. I was under the impression that face coverings were now mandatory but out of 13 people on the lower deck, only five were wearing a mask. Also, the bus was pretty crowded and whilst no one was sitting next to each other (unless they were traveling together), the people standing were very close together. I passed countless other buses, both single and double decker, and saw at least half of the passengers not wearing any form of face covering.

I thought it was compulsory. Whose responsibility is it to ensure this is happening? I know some people are exempt but surely there can't be that many. What does mandatory mean? Will this only be enforced by random infrequent checks such as ticket officers boarding? If so, this only happens once in a blue moon so what's the point?

Lots of questions there!

OP’s posts: |
DisobedientHamster Fri 19-Jun-20 01:01:33

Some people are exempt.

RingPiece Fri 19-Jun-20 01:03:23

Ok, so maybe my title should read MOST people as I presumed fewer than half the population would be exempt.

OP’s posts: |
DisobedientHamster Fri 19-Jun-20 01:05:24

Well, at least 10% of people have autism, they are exempt, several other large categories. It's become a new social stick to beat people with.

Notcontent Fri 19-Jun-20 01:07:13

In my opinion people in the U.K. are not very willing to comply with rules...

richele4 Fri 19-Jun-20 01:07:20

I was under the impression that the bus drivers could refuse entry if they don't have a mask. Thought this was unfair on them though because what are they actually meant to do if the person gets on after being told no? They're hardly going to drag them off.

All of these "mandatory measures" are fantastic in principle, but in reality, many of them don't work. They rely on honesty from the public and sadly many people don't listen.

Unless they're going to start dragging people out of places kicking and screaming (which won't happen because social distancing!) then you're always going to get some people who choose not to wear masks, whether it be on public transport, in shops or in the workplace.

It's the same with a lot of the new rules. People are choosing weather they want to social distance or not, whether they want to have people round to their house. There's no proper way of enforcing them so you'll never get the whole public to comply.

TheUnquestionedAnswer Fri 19-Jun-20 01:07:28

I thought masks had to be worn in shops too. Lots without today, and some people just had them over their mouths and not nose.

Fatted Fri 19-Jun-20 01:08:37

It's not mandatory in Wales. We have the ridiculous situation where I live of bus journeys suddenly requiring a face mask half way through the journey once the border is crossed.

Bbang Fri 19-Jun-20 01:09:33

I’m exempt due to my autism, it’s a huge trigger for me and I just can’t cope with them.

Didn’t stop the bus driver from bollocking and swearing at me threatening me with a £1000 fine and encouraging the other bus users to join in the verbal beat down. Agree with PP that it’s become just another stick to beat people with.

Thisismytimetoshine Fri 19-Jun-20 01:09:38

It doesn't make any sense to me to have a mandatory ruling that 50% of people are exempt from.

Fatted Fri 19-Jun-20 01:10:52

To be fair, a lot of the population have been coming and going to work, shops etc without masks for the last three months. It seems ridiculous to start wearing one now.

RingPiece Fri 19-Jun-20 01:12:00

I don't think it's up to the bus drivers to enforce or refuse entry as that would be a huge and horrible job for them especially where I live. I just expected most people to be wearing some sort of face covering. I swear one bus I passed looked as if it didn't have a single mask-wearing passenger on it. It's not ideal in this high-density part of London really.

OP’s posts: |
PumpkinP Fri 19-Jun-20 01:14:36

Thought this was unfair on them though because what are they actually meant to do if the person gets on after being told no? They're hardly going to drag them off.

I’ve seen bus drivers refuse to drive in these situations.

Anyway I’m not going to wear one so I will get on with a scarf covering my face so I’m not refused, then when I sit down it’s coming off.

RingPiece Fri 19-Jun-20 01:18:27

My friend's been told that she must wear a mask on public transport if using it to travel to work, and to get off the bus/train if the other passengers aren't wearing masks or if there's too many people on board. She'll be having a very long journey to work I feel.

OP’s posts: |
Featherstep Fri 19-Jun-20 01:25:29

YANBU OP, I noticed the same this week. Buses with windows all shut, drivers and maybe a third of passengers not wearing masks.
It seems much of the population no longer care about virus safety rules and the whole 'mandatory' business hasn't changed attitudes.
In other countries where masks are mandatory in public places, not wearing one is seen as irresponsible.
We are very far from that and may never get to that level.

CinnabarRed Fri 19-Jun-20 01:26:08

@PumpkinP - please may I ask why you won’t wear a mask?

fullofhope100 Fri 19-Jun-20 01:30:36

At the moment it's 'required by law' to wear a face mask on public transport. I'm fortunate in that I'm able to avoid public transport, however my workmates (who have no other option) have said that many people have been shambling onto buses without masks and the driver has allowed this. Never the less, I think people shouldn't be allowed on unless they're wearing one. Really feel for bus drivers though.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 19-Jun-20 01:36:12

Thisismytimetoshine

It doesn't make any sense to me to have a mandatory ruling that 50% of people are exempt from.

Course it does. Half the transmission rate.

The other thing I think the UK got wrong, as evidenced from this thread, is rules/enforcement rather than guidelines/community. If you tell people why they should do it, explain how they can do it, give them the means to do it and encourage people to be kind and thoughtful, you get much more buy in. People don't want to think of themselves as arseholes. They do love to think of themselves as revolutionaries and rule-breakers.

Having someone smilingly handing out masks thanking people in advance for their compliance and understanding exceptions is better than the non-enforcement and screaming at PP with autism that is happening.

Thisismytimetoshine Fri 19-Jun-20 01:39:54

Course it does. Half the transmission rate.
I said it doesn't make sense to me, not you.
It only halves the transmission rate provided the 50% required to wear them don't pretend they're in the exempted categories. Who's going to check?

StayinginSummer Fri 19-Jun-20 01:41:14

DisobedientHamster

Well, at least 10% of people have autism, they are exempt, several other large categories. It's become a new social stick to beat people with.

I in 65 have autism, and I imagine many are fine with wearing a mask too.

DisobedientHamster Fri 19-Jun-20 01:47:31

I in 65 have autism, and I imagine many are fine with wearing a mask too.

And they are free to do so, but it is an exemption category. hmm

CatAndHisKit Fri 19-Jun-20 01:50:32

maybe ir's London - in our small city everyine is complying, I@ve been on several routes (never crowded at that) - drivers tell people with no mask to get on only if they wear them and they then cover with a scarf if there's no mask - I think in London due to the numbers of people, they drivers don't want to enforce it as it becomes a hard extra job.

StayinginSummer Fri 19-Jun-20 01:55:58

DisobedientHamster

*I in 65 have autism, and I imagine many are fine with wearing a mask too.*

And they are free to do so, but it is an exemption category. hmm

It’s not 10%

rosiejaune Fri 19-Jun-20 02:21:48

I'm autistic and can't stand them on my face. And my partner is asthmatic and finds it difficult to breathe with one on. So we are both exempt.

But we are both (particularly me) very anxious about being challenged by drivers or other passengers about this issue. Partly since I don't find verbal interaction particularly accessible, especially in a stressful situation.

He needs to go into work some days (though can work from home other times), and one of us needs to go grocery shopping once a week. We have been walking there, but need to get the bus back. But now I feel trapped and unable to do the shopping in case anyone says something.

There are many (legally valid) reasons people may not be wearing one, and in order not to unintentionally systemically discriminate against people in those groups, please don't make it even more stressful for us by complaining about it. Just give people the benefit of the doubt.

And probably the percentage of people who need to use the bus and are exempt is higher than those who drive or can work from home etc, because they are probably less privileged overall and more likely to have some condition that would exempt them. So the people you see on the bus are not a representative sample of society; it's a skewed population.

There is no requirement to prove you are exempt (this would be unworkable and unfair). And going down that path would make me very uneasy anyway - what next; yellow stars?

Making a fuss isn't going to make others comply anyway, if they are just refusing. And the measures have always been based on the assumption that a certain percentage of people won't comply.

ArriettyJones Fri 19-Jun-20 02:29:22

Bus drivers in London are a completely different breed from bus drivers outside of London.

OFC it should be the driver’s job to check, remind, me enforce the ruling, but short of bringing back bus conductors overnight, there is no one else who could do it:

It is a difficult job, made complicated by the (entirely necessary) exemptions, and London bus drivers do NOT do anything difficult on top of driving and grunting at picture IDs. Well 95% of them anyway.

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