keeping you safe past 19 July
6 months ago
As the government have now outlined their plan to remove most of the final restrictions related to Covid-19 from Monday 19 July, we know that many of you will be confused as to what that means for your bus travel. We have tried to clarify all the elements below, but we want to reassure you that we are committed to keeping you as safe as possible on our buses.
The legal requirement to wear a face covering in shops and onboard public transport will be lifted, having been law since 15 June 2020.
We know that many of you will still want everyone to wear a face covering when travelling with us (and indeed, in many other areas) and we would encourage people to do so to help support and protect each other.
We would like everyone who can, to continue to wear a face covering, even though, as seen below, all of our other measures help to keep the risk of infection low.
Whilst wearing a face covering helps reduce the spread of the virus whilst in close contact with others, the government believe the link between the virus and serious illness or death has been weakened. For this reason, customers can choose not to wear a face covering on board our buses.
It is worth saying that there has never been any evidence of virus transmission onboard buses during the pandemic and we hope that people will still adhere to many of the things that have become normal such as washing hands, not travelling when feeling unwell and coughing/sneezing into a tissue and then disposing of it.
The legal requirement for social distancing will be lifted.
Previously, we had been able to use all front-facing seats, but had chosen to try and keep our capacity at around 50% to allow for some form of social distancing. From 19 July, we will begin to operate at full capacity meaning all seats (including rear-facing) can be used (except those behind the driver - see below), and standing on board buses will be allowed.
Although the thought of someone you don't know sitting close to you might seem daunting, it has been seen that transmission is generally from face to face contact and the need for this on a bus is minimal.
For added caution regarding the protection of our employees, we will continue to keep bus cab screens in place, the ventilation holes covered and any seats near the driver cordoned off for the time being, whilst we monitor the statistics in the weeks following 19 July. We will review this from 30 August.
We will continue to operate our enhanced cleaning regime to ensure that our buses are sparkling when going into service. We will still ensure that all major touch-points are sanitised.
We will continue to provide free hand sanitiser on board all of our buses and strongly encourage customers to use it. We also encourage you to continue to wash your hands before leaving the house and on reaching your destination.
On routes that used to give change, needing the exact fare will still be required for now. This is to enable us to assess how the situation is progressing with regards to the virus and to help keep our employees safe. We will review this situation at the earliest possible convenience. We do encourage people to still pay by non-cash methods where possible.
Contactless payment, smartcards and mobile tickets are all still available as an alternative to cash.
ventilation on buses
We will still encourage you to leave the windows open on our buses to allow air to circulate. This helps to improve ventilation and is proven to help reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
safe as houses
With everything in place, a bus is just as safe as anywhere else where you are enclosed or indoors, if not more so. During the pandemic, there has been no evidence of transmissions due to buses, and with everything the bus industry has done, customers have been kept safe and connected throughout.
There is plenty of space, ventilation and your are generally sitting for less than 15-20 minutes which means the risk of transmission is very low.