'What's the problem with not wearing a mask on the Tube? What do you lose?'

11 August 2021, 13:33 | Updated: 11 August 2021, 13:35

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

"What's the problem with not wearing a mask on the Tube?" James O'Brien ponders what people will have lost by not wearing a mask on public transport.

After London's Transport Commissioner told LBC that 90% of people were still wearing masks on the Tube James O'Brien tackled the issue.

James said his lived experience was not akin to what TfL chief Andy Byford had described.

"I get the train home every day and I get it in most mornings, and the train home tallies with that, about 90% mask-wearing on the London Underground."

But, James said he had not seen "anybody since day one policing this, not once have I seen anybody."

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He added there had been a "couple of occasions" where he had thought about policing it himself.

Since the lockdown rules were eased on July 19, the requirement to wear a mask on the Tube has only been a "condition of carriage" rather than a legal requirement.

This means TfL’s 400 enforcement officers can prevent passengers from boarding or can ask them to leave a bus, Tube or Overground train – but they have no power to impose fines.

Recalling an experience on the Tube where a maskless customer tried to sit next to another passenger James said he was interested in the "self-started policing of mask-wearing."

James said there were some mindsets he found almost "impenetrable".

Asking who would think their life had been "ruined" by wearing a mask, James pondered what was "the issue, what was the problem?"

"Put a mask on when on public transport, and then if it turns out several years hence that you didn't need to then what have you lost?"

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