Bus passengers not wearing face masks ‘are everyone’s problem’

Readers have taken to social media to defend the use of face masks on public transport after a furious row erupted on an Arriva bus which forced the driver to intervene.

Tempers flared on a number 10 Arriva bus in an argument captured on film showing passengers involved in a loud confrontation over the use of face masks.

The video, seen by the ECHO, shows two passengers arguing about one woman not wearing a face mask.

According to witnesses, a number of passengers began criticising a younger passenger for not wearing a mask, leading to others jumping in to defend the girl from the woman.

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At one point the driver can be overheard telling a woman wearing a mask below her nose to "not lecture people about masks when you can't wear one properly".

The incident has prompted a fierce debate on social media over wearing face masks on public transport.

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Some readers argued that the purpose of the face mask rule was for public health reasons and that not wearing them put others at risk.

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Margot Holland commented: "The mask is to protect others not yourself, not not wearing a mask puts others at risk.

"So it's everyone's problem."

Angela Duxbury said: "It was a government decision that all masks are to be worn on public transport, so it's not up to the driver."

Hanneke Krijt commented: "I've used to the bus twice now. I think people assume they only have to wear it properly when interacting with the driver.

"Come on people, it's not rocket science – wear it properly during your journey."

However, others pointed out that the situation was more nuanced and that, in some circumstances, it might be impossible for someone to wear a face covering.

Some readers pointed out that anyone with a specific medical condition could be exempt from wearing a face mask.

Leah Udhin said: "Some do not wear the face covering properly – they are supposed to cover your nose and mouth.

"But certain people are exempt from wearing face masks because of certain medical conditions. People need to be kinder to people and not be so judgemental."

Stephen O'Neil said: "The problem is that there is a list of exemptions. I'm in that list but have not received any guidance on how to show this to bus drivers and any shops I walk into.

"I feel that I shouldn't have to explain why I'm exempted to strangers."

Lauren Edwards said: "Some people can't wear a mask due to disabilities, so why are people being so mean?"

Those not wearing a face covering on public transport could be fined or refused entry to public transport if deemed necessary.

Arriva said that the wearing of face coverings remains "mandatory for customers" although it does allow some exemptions.

An Arriva spokesperson said: "The safety of our customers and employees continues to be our priority. The wearing of face coverings continues to be mandatory for customers whilst using public transport (exemptions apply).

"We have clear guidance and signage for customers in regards to this and all other social distancing measures in place on bus, via social media and our website for more information please visit arrivabus.co.uk."

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