The move hopes to keep Mancs safe as more restrictions are lifted.
As the country gears up for the long-anticipated Freedom Day next Monday, 19th July, Andy Burnham has confirmed he’ll be making it mandatory to continue the use of face masks on Manchester’s light rail system – following an outpour of concerns from locals around the lifting of restrictions.
Reinforced by fines of up to £100 for those who don’t comply, passengers using the tram or waiting in bus stations and interchanges will be required to continue wearing their mask, in a bid to help keep Manchester safe as the Delta variant continues to surge. The rules will be reinforced from next Monday, with Burnham confirming that these would be regularly reviewed and any changes would be led by science and public safety considerations. Passengers using private taxis, trains and buses are also strongly advised to continue using their masks.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “We all want to support our city-region as it reopens, and I believe that needs to be done as safely as possible for all of our residents.
“There are around 200,000 people in Greater Manchester who are clinically vulnerable and I believe the Government’s decision to drop the requirement to wear face masks on public transport could put those people more at risk when using public transport, or force them off altogether. I do not believe they should be put in that unfair position.
“I have been listening to people’s concerns and, in response, have decided to continue to require the wearing of face coverings on Metrolink as well as at bus stations and interchanges. To that end I have asked TfGM to make this a requirement for Metrolink and at bus stations and interchanges. I will also be strongly encouraging people to wear them on buses and trains.
“I hope the people of Greater Manchester will understand why I have taken this decision and will continue to wear face coverings on public transport. This is a city-region built on a strong sense of solidarity and doing the right thing by each other, and that will be demonstrated by continuing to wear our face coverings.”
Adding: “I would also add that by choosing to wear a face covering, unless exempt, you are also playing a part in helping to keep transport staff safe and boosting their confidence as well – so please ensure you wear a face covering on Metrolink and I strongly encourage you to wear one on buses and trams if you can.”