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Heathrow Express to insist on facemasks

PASSENGERS on Heathrow Express will still have to wear face coverings from Monday, as transport operators choose whether to lift the compulsory masks rule when the government lifts formal restrictions in England.

Masks will also continue to be necessary on all Transport for London services, Manchester Metrolink trams and in other areas, such as transport interchanges in South Yorkshire. They will also be required on National Rail trains in Scotland and Wales, where the national restrictions are continuing after the weekend.

Heathrow Express said: ‘To help keep our passengers and colleagues safe, and to rebuild passenger confidence in travel, face coverings will continue to be mandatory on our service after Monday 19 July. As a London rail operator serving Heathrow Airport, our approach is aligned with both Heathrow and Transport for London, who are also continuing to require face coverings. If you plan to travel on our service, please ensure you are wearing a face covering before you board and throughout your journey.’

Meanwhile, other train operators in England are urging passengers to go on wearing masks in crowded trains.

Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles said: ‘We’re looking forward to welcoming people back to our railway.

‘Although the Government has lifted many measures, they are still recommending and expecting people to wear face coverings in crowded places, so we’re asking our customers to continue to wear face coverings on busy trains and stations.’

West Midlands Trains is also appealing for face coverings to be used in busy areas, ‘out of respect to others’.

A further problem is also looming, because WMT is warning that its services could be disrupted if more staff are pinged by the NHS app and instructed to self-isolate. In the last few weeks, the number of staff affected has quadrupled.

Customer experience director Jonny Wiseman said: ’We are keeping up the extra high standards of cleaning on our trains and stations that we implemented at the start of the pandemic. Even though Covid restrictions are easing from Monday, the message is, in crowded spaces, wear a face covering out of respect for others.’

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