Wearing A Face Mask On The Tube Is No Longer Mandatory

Wearing A Face Mask On The Tube Is No Longer Mandatory
a sign on the tube that says: wear a face covering on public transport
Image: citytransportinfo

Face masks will no longer be mandatory on London's public transport as of tomorrow (Thursday 24 February).

TfL has cited a few factors in its decision, including the government's announcement earlier this week that Covid restrictions are to be halted; as well as decreasing infection rates in London.

However, TfL is still encouraging non-exempt passengers to wear masks. Says a TfL spokesperson:

Research suggests a good-quality face covering can help reduce the chance of catching coronavirus and passing it onto others, and face coverings have also played an important role in giving people confidence to use public transport throughout the pandemic, particularly people who are vulnerable.

Since the Covid pandemic hit London in March 2020, it's been a 'condition of carriage' (although not a legal requirement) to wear a protective face mask on all of TfL's tube, bus, train and tram services. (The dropping of 'Plan B' earlier in 2022 meant it was no longer a requirement to wear masks on national train services.)

From our own recent travels on TfL transport, there are still a fair amount of people wearing masks, and an equally fair amount who aren't. But we reckon TfL's announcement could prompt a steep decline in mask wearing.

TfL says that public transport use continues to rise; last week, tube journeys were up to 60% of pre-pandemic levels. In April 2020, train ridership in the capital was down by 95%.

Last Updated 23 February 2022

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