Over 12,000 people have been stopped from using a TfL transport service for refusing to wear a face mask since the regulations came into effect, according to the latest figures from TfL.

Fortunately, TfL says that face-covering compliance overall across its services is around 90% across their network, which your correspondent would pretty much agree with on his occasional trips, even if noses hanging out is still surprisingly prevalent.

According to TfL’s figures, up to 31st May, enforcement officers intervened with 188,324 passengers not wearing a face covering or not wearing it correctly. Around half had a legitimate exemption and the majority of the rest complied with the request to put a face mask on.

People who are medically exempted from wearing a face-covering can request a free badge from TfL to show they are exempt – from here. To date, some 55,000 badges have been given out.

However, 12,176 were refused travel and 3,647 Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued.

Nearly half of the penalty notices were paid within 14 days, at the reduced rate of £100 for early payment, and 121 were paid within 28 days. The rest are being pursued for non-payment.

Since 16th March 2021, 214 cases have been listed in court, with 30 defendants pleading guilty to the offence of not wearing a face covering, resulting in fines averaging £516, which is calculated based on the individuals’ circumstances, which the court needs to take into consideration. Of those cases, 144 people did not even turn up to attend court and will be chased if they don’t pay the court-ordered fines

TfL highlighted one case listed in April, where the defendant was found guilty and ordered to pay a fine of £1,730, prosecution costs of £450 and a victim surcharge of £173 – a total of £2,353. The defendant was also ordered to pay his own legal costs.

Face coverings from the London Transport Museum

TfL’s face mask compliance work is being supported by the British Transport Police and the Met Police’s Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC), under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020.


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  1. Nima says:

    Great news that TFL are actively pursuing individuals for non-compliance. I am amazed that 55,000 exemption badges have been given out when legitimate medical reasons for not wearing a mask are extremely, extremely miniscule.

    • ianVisits says:

      55,000 people represents around 0.6% of TfL’s potential commuter base — so probably about right as a percentage of the population who could need a medical exemption.

  2. Brian Butterworth says:

    I’m guessing, from your comments, that you’re not a frequent user of the DLR, which is very popular with the young and mask-less.

    Well they wouldn’t want to smudge all that contorting, would they?

    Given that’s I’ve been double-vaccinated for many months now, I’m starting to feel that if they want to get the Delta Variant, that’s their look out.

    Not really, I just pointedly open all the windows! v

    • ianVisits says:

      I use the DLR more than most other lines, and while I agree that compliance is lower — especially the nose thing — I would still say it reaches the 90% mark.

    • jo clark says:

      when it comes to having to have the jab for foreign holidays they will all rush to get the jab typical selfish self centred people

  3. Veronica Rechten says:

    My bugbear is the classic nose flasher!!! Or the chin wearer…
    This is just the same as not wearing a mask.
    I’m lucky that I can walk and cycle most of the time.

    Ps it’s important to recognise that a medical exemption could also be due to mental health issues.

  4. Kevin Frost says:

    They should be on the Central Line everyday 6:15 in the morning Polish builders no mask or nose free. I am fedup with it, yeah great 12000 caught but that would be 15000 if they patrolled this line.

  5. Chris Rogers says:

    I’d agree wth the 90% thing but it does still annoy me that so many – mostly youngsters, unsurprisingly – don’t comply. Never seen a badeg and just googled it to see what it even looks like. Never seen any enforcement either but then my travelling is so way down that’s not a shock.

  6. Liam says:

    It’s good to have some figures and thank you Ian. When I travel I see a fair few people without, or with half-mast face coverings. I’m pleased that there actually is some enforcement going on.

    I wonder if the Police have found a connection between those that don’t comply with face coverings and other offences. Because low-level transgressions whilst motoring are regularly linked to other more serious matters.

  7. JohnC says:

    If my recent experience is anything to go by, and if you take into account those who don’t wear the mask correctly, such as not covering the nose, or remove it entirely after boarding the train, breach of the regulations is far more widespread than the TfL figures suggest. And if I in my seventies can use a mobile without removing my mask, why can’t younger people?

  8. Streetdeck says:

    It’s a pity that the BTP and National Rail Train Companies are not enforcing anything outside of the Capital…relying solely on automated announcements and telling/expecting staff to enforce it….

    In my experience in the last 12-15 months, the BTP have not been seen to issue one penalty notice, and confronting mask non-wearers wouldn’t even reach double figures..

  9. Lizebeth says:

    Even after the “official” reopening of London (whenever it happens), I believe people should be required to wear a mask that COVERS NOSE AND MOUTH on public transport. Yeah, if everyone would just get vaccinated, perhaps this wouldn’t be necessary? Why endanger your fellow humans because you think YOU are above getting, or carrying, Covid? Better still, if you don’t want the jab, don’t ride.

    Good for TFL for monitoring this — now, if they could only catch the fare evaders on every bus I take, perhaps they wouldn’t be so far behind financially?

  10. William Hill says:

    Great to see All the Mask Dictators on here.

    I just don’t believe these figures at all, more ‘faces’ appearing daily and I see no evidence of ‘enforcement’ as suggested

    The majority have had one vaccine offer the vulnerable two and we are still expected to put up with this psychological terror indefinitely -Especially if June 21 slips.

    People won’t and non-compliance will increase

  11. Nigel Headley says:

    For anyone interested, children wear masks from six years in Scotland. We found out on the last day of the holiday!

  12. Eve Harrington says:

    I think TfL’s figure of 90% compliance with the mask regulations is, to say the least, ‘optimistic’. I’d say it is more like 75%, and that includes the ubiquitous ‘nosepokers’ who still don’t understand how to wear their face coverings correctly. I’ve only seen one enforcement officer in the past 12 months – and that was in July 2020, soon after the rules came into effect. Despite the relentless tide of propaganda from TfL, I don’t believe that any of these people are actually exempt. We are repeatedly told to be ‘kind’ to those with hidden disabilities. Is being stupid, selfish and reckless a ‘disability’? I appreciate that TfL is in a difficult position, and no one wants to see their staff being abused or attacked for trying to enforce this rule. I’d just appreciate a bit of honesty all round.

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