Face coverings to continue to be mandatory on public transport in Wales
Face coverings will continue to be mandatory on public transport in Wales after coronavirus restrictions ease, with ministers also considering extending the requirement in shops.
The approach contrasts with England’s, where the Prime Minister has said the legal obligation to wear face coverings will come to an end on 19 July as the country reaches the final step of the roadmap out of lockdown.
A final decision on easing most coronavirus restrictions in England is set to be taken by Boris Johnson on Monday.
But in Wales, masks will still need to be worn on trains, buses and in taxis, as well as health and social care settings when other measures are lifted, the Welsh government has confirmed.
It added that “active further consideration” is being given to decide if they should still be required by law in other settings such as retail outlets.
First minister Mark Drakeford said: “We will need everyone’s help to keep coronavirus under control as we continue to respond to the pandemic – this virus has quite certainly not gone away.
“We know how many people are worried and anxious about going out. We will maintain the requirement to wear face coverings in certain places – on public transport and health and social care settings, and others where necessary – to keep us all safe.”
It is unclear how the conflicting rules would apply for buses, trains and coaches between England and Wales.
In Sunday’s announcement, the Welsh government said scientific evidence supports the use of face coverings as a measure to reduce coronavirus infections. It added they were “particularly useful” in crowded, indoor areas with a lack of ventilation.
On Friday, the nation’s government confirmed that face coverings will not be routinely recommended in Welsh classrooms from September.
Mr Drakeford is expected to make a further statement on Wednesday to set out further details of the new alert level zero for Wales.
Currently, the country is at alert level one and face coverings are mandatory in all indoor public spaces.
It is likely that Scotland will take a more cautious approach out of lockdown, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon describing Mr Johnson’s plan for as “something of an exception”.
Ms Sturgeon is due to set out the next steps for Scotland in a statement to Holyrood on Tuesday.