To stem the transmission of Covid-19, from June 15th the UK Government has required people on public transport to wear a face mask.


However, the rules on wearing face masks are not so clear in other places - such as cars.

While the government believes individuals wearing face masks can reduce the transmission of Covid-19, they do not want the general public to buy up medical-grade face masks.


Instead, they recommend people make their own masks.


What does England's Chief Medical Officer say?

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said: “Wearing a face covering is an added precaution that may have some benefit in reducing the likelihood that a person with the infection passes it on."


“The most effective means of preventing the spread of this virus remains following social distancing rules and washing your hands regularly. It does not remove the need to self-isolate if you have symptoms.”


Public transport and face masks

Where travelling on public transport is necessary, passengers must wear face coverings. Public transport covers buses, coaches, trains, trams, ferries and planes.


Transport operators can issue penalties for non-compliance - or they can refuse entry to vehicles altogether.


What about in my own car?

There is no guidance on whether you should wear a mask in your own car - it is entirely up to you. There may be some benefits, however. If you intend to park at a railway station with a view to boarding a train, you may take advantage of your car's hygienic environment to put on your mask.



If you car share or carpool with other people, everyone may feel safer if face coverings are worn. However, there are no rules regarding this. That said, in May the Department for Transport (DfT) recommended that those who share cars with people outside their households should consider finding other ways to travel - such as walking or cycling.


What about taxis?

Because car cabins are such confined spaces, viruses like Covid-19 can transmit very easily. As such, many taxi firms now require passengers to wear masks, and in many cases have forbidden passengers to sit in the front seat next to the driver. Uber now says drivers can cancel a ride if their passenger is not wearing a face covering.


There is some disagreement on how effective face coverings are at reducing Covid-19 transmission. Any potential benefit can also be impacted by how well a mask fits, and what filter the mask has.