Londoners may have to wear masks on the tube after 19 July, when Boris Johnson is expected to have abandoned the pandemic-imposed rule.
However, different rules for Transport for London (TfL) tubes and national rail trains may confuse travellers, if masks become a thing of the past by the end of July.
A spokesperson for London Mayor, Sadiq Khan said: “Today the Mayor has had discussions with the TfL Commissioner, and both are clear that the simplest and safest option going forward would be for the government to retain the requirement for face coverings on public transport.
“Many millions of Londoners use both national rail services as well as TfL services to complete their journeys each day, making any divergence of rules across different modes of transport complex as well as confusing for passengers.”
Johnson is set to give a press conference later today, in which he is expected to scrap social distancing rules, as well as mandatory masks in shops and on public transport from so-called “Freedom Day” on 19 July.
“The mayor has always been clear that face coverings have an important role to play both in giving Londoners confidence to travel on public transport, which will be crucial in our economic recovery, and as a tool to protect each other during this pandemic,” the spokesperson added.
New polling by YouGov shows the majority of Brits back keeping masks on when riding public transport.
Around 71 per cent of Brits surveyed said that face masks should continue to be mandatory on public transport for a further period of time once restrictions are lifted. 21 per cent said they should not.
If Johnson follows through with expectations, Khan and TfL commissioner Andy Byford will coordinate with train operators to find an agreement that works best for travellers.
“Should the government lift the requirement for mandatory face coverings on public transport, TfL will have discussions with other train operating companies and the DfT about next steps and how to ensure passengers have the confidence to use public transport, which we know is a vital part of kickstarting London’s economy and supporting businesses as we recover from this pandemic.”