The transport secretary said ‘there is no perfect way’ to ease lockdown rules while warning people against taking public transport today as people in England go back to work.
Workers who are unable to work from home have been urged to return to work by the government from today, with chaos expected on trains and buses across the country.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has urged all passengers to use face coverings if they must use public transport, with the Tube already reporting a huge rise in numbers of passengers this week – with 4,000 extra journeys recorded on Monday compared to the same day last week.
Grant Shapps told Sky News today: ‘We have asked commuters to wear a cloth face covering and that’s because the two metre rule still exists on public transport and where that’s not possible, that can provide a bit of reassurance.
‘We’re asking people to be very sensible and not flood back to public transport.
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‘Even with all the trains and buses back to running, when they are, there will not be enough space. Only 1 in 10 people will be able to travel without that overcrowding.’
A Tube driver today said he saw ‘hardly anyone’ wearing face coverings. The network is ‘slightly busier than yesterday’ when some trains were at capacity, he told Sky News, adding: ‘Worrying thing for me, is that hardly anyone is wearing face masks or coverings.’
All Tube and bus users in London are being advised to use face coverings as maintaining a two metre distance is proving very difficult as people get back to work.
The Government has said businesses in England closed because of the coronavirus pandemic should consider reopening from Wednesday if they can do so safely.
People travelling to work should find alternative ways, including walking, cycling or driving, to avoid a crush on public transport.
Mr Shapps said: ‘It is very important that we enable enough space on public transport for key workers, people who have no other option.
‘It is very important that people don’t overcrowd that system that will be extremely restricted for the time being.’
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