Wales BANS public transport users from talking on mobile phones, reading newspapers, eating food or running for the bus in new Covid rules
- Rules also order passengers not to run through bus or train stations
- Operators were told they could bring in the changes from last Monday
- Only 18 new Covid-19 cases were identified in Wales today, taking total to 16,871
Wales has banned public transport users from talking on the mobile phone, reading newspapers or consuming food and drink while on the bus or train, as it attempts to halt the spread of coronavirus.
The government directive also orders passengers not to run for the bus, or run in major transport hubs such as railway stations.
The strict rules were issued under the sub-heading ‘administrative controls’ as ‘additional mitigations in public transport where two-metre physical distancing is difficult or not possible’.
Operators were told they could bring them into force from Monday 13 July, on top of current restrictions including requiring all passengers to wear a face mask.
Only 18 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Wales today, bringing their total to 16,871. The UK has recorded 45,000 deaths and more than 292,000 cases.
The Welsh government has introduced the severe measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. (Stock picture of woman on her phone)
Transport for Wales is already requiring passengers to wear face masks and sit apart
Under the directives, running for the bus will not be allowed. Drivers are meant to wait
It is not clear how the changes will be enforced, or whether there will be any fines imposed for those failing to follow restrictions.
Transport for Wales urged passengers not to use its services except for essential travel earlier this month, as households were allowed to form an ‘exclusive bubble’ with one other household for the first time.
They said that this was due to the expected increase in the number of journeys and to ensure there was enough space for key workers or those without alternative options.
TfW’s CEO, James Price, said: ‘The safety of our colleagues and customers has, and will always be, our top priority.
‘We need to re-inforce our travel safer campaign highlighting that public transport is for essential travel and where there are no other travel alternatives.’
Arriva Wales, which runs buses in the country, currently requires passengers to sit in window seats while leaving a seat free in the row behind and in front. It also requires passengers to keep two metres apart, pay by contactless, and wear face masks.
No phone calls: Welsh travel restrictions
– Do not use mobile phones for talk on public transport except in an emergency (Aerosol transmission)
– No running in transport hubs (aerosol transmission)
-Don’t run for the bus (aerosol transmission) – drivers to be alert and wait
– No newspapers
– Do not consume food or drink on public transport (except, for example, on medical grounds)
In England, public transport users are required to keep two metres apart where possible, wear a face mask, and only use buses and trains for essential journeys.
Boris Johnson has suggested that office workers will be asked to return to their desks to ‘save the British economy’.
But the Department for Transport is still advising Britons to use public transport for essential journeys only.
A spokesman for the department said that their advice is ‘constantly under review’.
The Welsh government was previously slammed for its response to the coronavirus crisis.
A report commissioned by Plaid Cymru and compiled by Tro Da global health consultancy said that ‘by stopping community testing and tracing for Covid-19, Wales lost the ability to understand the spread of Covid-19 and the ability to control it’.
Report author Dr Camilla Ducker added: ‘Between the end of community testing and the beginning of lockdown, a period of a number of days elapsed.
‘During this period community transmission would, of course, have continued unimpeded.’
In England, passengers are asked to keep two metres apart where possible, wear a face mask, and only take public transport when it is essential.
Boris Johnson has been hinting that he will call for a retun
The Welsh government has been contacted for comment by MailOnline, and asked how it plans to enforce the rules.