Although the majority of people comply with the law regarding wearing a face cover on public transport, TfL is stepping up its enforcement against people who still refuse to wear one without good reason.

Since the regulations came into effect, 128,000 people have been stopped by TfL officers, and 1,700 fines issued. Around 650 people have been prosecuted for not wearing a mask on the network. Fines have been as much as £660 for those convicted for a first offence, with one repeat offender having to pay £1,170.

Station staff counts and analysis of CCTV show the vast majority of passengers are wearing a face covering over their nose and mouth when on public transport and in stations, unless they are exempt. Those who are exempt from wearing a face covering have the option to order a free card or badge from the TfL website.

(c) TfL

Despite that, TfL recently expanded its team of enforcement officers and is handing out more fines to non-compliers and prosecuting those who do not pay.

A cohort of 20 new TfL enforcement officers completed training in December, boosting TfL’s enforcement team to around 500 officers who are ensuring compliance of coronavirus safety regulations, as well as tackling aggression, fare evasion and providing greater visibility and reassurance.

The recruits are now working alongside police officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (Met) and British Transport Police (BTP).

It can’t mean an enforcement officer on every single bus and train, but operations are being regularly carried out at stations where they know there’s a problem with low compliance. Bus stops at Victoria, Brixton and Stratford have been targeted – with an operation taking place near Walthamstow bus station yesterday (Tuesday) morning.

Superintendent Gary Taylor from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “We are almost a year into living with this virus and by now everyone should know how to protect themselves and those around them. Wearing a face covering on public transport is just one of the ways to stay safe.”

If you’re job hunting, TfL expects that more Enforcement Officer roles will be created in the coming months and advertised on the TfL website.


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  1. Better late than never I guess.

    Not sure I’ve ever seen anyone being challenged on the DLR. Given this is way to the London’s mega-centre for Vaccination I might have hoped for more.

  2. Dessna Vaughan says:

    I have been getting on the bus from march 2019 and I have not seen not one enforcement officer on the bus I take 3 bus from lewisham to Kennington some people get on the bus with no mask who is enforcing that

  3. TJ says:

    Yet another Zero-tolerance policy, I suspect enforcement will be as patchy as any of the other zero-tolerance policies…

  4. AD says:

    1) exempt people do not need a card or badge, it’s sufficient to say you’re exempt

    2) masks do not protect you so stop enforcing this stupidity!

    • Ra says:

      It’s quite unbelievable you have managed to get a year into this pandemic and still don’t understand the purpose of masks?

      They are not on your face to protect you (much). They are on your face to protect me, from the droplets that have been consistently proven to come out of your mouth when you speak or even breathe (though less) – and that land on seats, handles and surfaces other people touch. Do you understand?

    • Jon says:

      If you think people should wear underwear and trousers then you should be fine with rules about wearing masks.

      Masks do actually protect you a bit, but mostly it protects others, which in turn protects you.
      This is just like the rules we have against stabbing people. It’s not in the interest of the person doing the stabbing, it’s for everyone else.

  5. Clair Barnes says:

    I had to travel on the central line to East Acton to Hammersmith hospital and there was no social distancing and some were not wearing mask.even though I’m exempt from wearing a mask I do to protect myself

  6. John Smith says:

    Enforcing someone to do something against their own will goes against the law.
    Masks do not protect, cleaning surfaces that have been touched by thousands of people could be more effective.

    • ianvisits says:

      “Enforcing someone to do something against their own will goes against the law.” <-- you don't know much about the law do you.

    • Ra says:

      “Enforcing someone to do something against their own will goes against the law.”

      Please read this again. And be embarrassed!

    • Jon says:

      So I guess everyone should be free to get naked and drunk on transport, maybe start punching random people..

  7. Mrs. Clair says:

    I am a regular DLR user. Great service. However over these last months I find myself getting angry every time I travel on it.
    A lot of people not wearing masks. Others using them as a chin support!
    I have now given up using DLR because of I feel it really is too risky.
    I would really like to see some enforcement on this service. It would give me the confidence/reassurance to return to using DLR.

  8. Barry creme says:

    I get the 111 bus and have never seen a tfl or police officer on the bus at any point during the day

    • ianvisits says:

      When you consider how many hours of the day buses run and how many there are on each route, it would be remarkable if you did see people on the bus the very moment you happen to be on it — but that’s not to say they aren’t on that bus route at other days/times.

  9. Lee says:

    Hi yes I have a complaint when bus drivers Do not wear face masks they are good enough to tell the passengers to wear face masks I And a exempt I have a exempt badge And it does my heading when the drivers put the no a son about face masks and they haven’t got one on their self

    • Lee says:

      The last Briton that message was meant to say when drivers are not wearing a face mask the selfs

  10. Balbina Garcia says:

    Masks are there to protect others not you, unbelievable,

  11. Balbina Garcia says:

    The overground from Watford junction is a disgrace, and if you ask they turn violent. Where are the officers?

    • Oakleaf95 says:

      By no means do I condone aggressive behaviour, but if you ask they’re under no obligation to say anything, and if an officer asks, it’s enough to say you’re exempt. Many somehiw think the NHS issues exemption certificates. Rubbish, no such thing exists, although you can OPTIONALLY print a lanyard from GOV.UK, which is as much proof as a verbal declaration (hence being optional)

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