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Rail union claims ‘confusion and conflict’ over facemasks

THE RMT has protested to the transport secretary that there is ‘confusion and conflict’ over the forthcoming changes to facemask rules on trains and other public transport from next Monday. The wearing of facemasks will become compulsory on all English public transport from 15 June, but the union’s general secretary Mick Cash has told Grant Shapps that ‘I am receiving representations from not only my members but also employers who are reporting high levels of concern and confusion over how these new arrangements will apply, who will be responsible for enforcement and what will be done to prevent conflict between passengers and staff.’ Meanwhile, a newspaper is claiming that train operators have been lobbying for the social distancing rule of 2m to be halved, to increase capacity when more shops are allowed to reopen next week. The Times reports ministers are being warned that official advice to only use public transport as a last resort will have ‘terrible long-term consequences for the industry and environment’.

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