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ScotRail, Network Rail Scotland, and British Transport Police encourage face coverings use and are calling on Caithness passengers across the rail network to wear one unless they are exempt to help stop the spread of coronavirus


By Ian Duncan

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Train on the Highland Line.
Train on the Highland Line.

ScotRail, Network Rail Scotland, and British Transport Police (BTP) are calling on passengers across the rail network to wear a face covering, unless they are exempt.

Following the easing of some Covid-19 restrictions in August, the wearing of face-coverings in stations and on trains remains mandatory, and ScotRail, Network Rail and BTP are asking all customers to ‘Wear One and Protect Everyone’.

The train operator’s CCTV centres carry out daily monitoring of face covering compliance across Scotland’s railway, which shows around three quarters of passengers are obeying the law.

However, in some areas, compliance with the regulations is poor. ScotRail and BTP exchange this information to ensure as many passengers as possible wear face coverings on-board trains and in stations.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, BTP officers will remind railway passengers of the health regulations and the importance of wearing a face covering to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Officers will continue with the ‘4Es’ approach of engaging, explaining, encouraging and, as a last resort, enforcing any coronavirus legal requirements.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail head of customer operations, said: “We ask that everyone who travels on Scotland’s railway wears a face covering, unless exempt. That includes in stations and on trains.

“Of course, some customers will be medically exempt, and disabilities and impairments are not always visible to others, so they can choose to carry a card to explain why they are not wearing a face covering.

“However, we encourage our customers to take personal responsibility about using a face covering, be respectful of their fellow passengers, and wear one to protect everyone.”

BTP Chief Superintendent Gill Murray, said: "BTP continues to support our industry partners in ensuring that passengers and rail users comply with the mandatory wearing of face coverings both in stations and on trains across the network in Scotland. We all have a part to play in protecting ourselves and others and reducing the spread of Covid-19.

“Our officers proactively patrol the network engaging with the public and reminding them to wear a face covering, and will, where appropriate and proportionate, enforce this through the legislation in place.

“We are encouraged by the majority of people who comply with the regulations, however, we appeal to everyone to take personal responsibility when travelling by rail by wearing a face covering.”

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Route director for Scotland, said: “We’re asking passengers to help reduce the spread of coronavirus by wearing a face covering when passing through stations or on trains. It is vitally important that we all continue to play our part in keeping ourselves, and others, as safe as possible during this challenging time.”


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