Face Coverings on Public Transport

18th May 2020
Category: General News

From 15th June it is mandatory for passengers to wear face coverings while travelling on public transport. Please remember to bring a face covering for your journey as without one you will be unable to travel.

A face covering can be very simple, like a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head to give a snug fit. It just needs to cover your mouth and nose.

The government have stated some passengers will be exempt from wearing a facial covering and following an Equalities Impact Assessment, exemptions will apply to those with:

  • Breathing difficulties and other respiratory conditions
  • Conditions effecting their dexterity, meaning they are not able to put on a face covering.
  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders.
  • Other non-visible disabilities such as autism.
  • Cognitive impairments, including dementia, who may not understand or remember the need to wear a face covering.
  • Visual impairments, with a restricted field of vision, particularly if any residual vision is at the lower edge of the normal field of view.
  • Impairments which would make it difficult to put on or take off a face covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain.


  • The exemptions also apply to those who rely on lip reading. This would include carers who are travelling with someone for whom a face covering will inhibit communication.
  • You will also be able to remove your face covering for eating/drinking if necessary and taking essential medication.
  • The regulation will not apply to children under 11, or children on dedicated school transport services.
  • We expect everyone to wear a face covering if they can. The above list of exemptions is not exhaustive and would extend to someone who has a justifiable reason for not wearing one on the grounds of health or disability not outlined above.
  • Our drivers when sat in the cab behind the safety screen can wear a face covering if they wish but if they leave the cab when passengers are on the bus then, for example to operate the wheelchair lift then they must wear a face covering. All Ipswich Buses staff when traveling on a bus as a passenger will wear a face covering.

If you are unable to wear a face covering, then we would encourage you to visit our travel shop in Tower Ramparts Bus Station with a passport sized photo to request an exemption card. This will make it easier and quicker when boarding our bus. Just simply show the card to our driver when you pay your fare or present your pass or travel card.

From Monday 15th June our travel shop will have high quality washable face masks in stock, or you can make your own face covering by following the guidance on gov.uk.


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