Could commuters not wearing face coverings contribute to high infection rate in Bedford?

Concerned resident poses question after claiming he saw people without masks
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A concerned resident has contacted Bedford Today after claiming he saw commuters on Stagecoach buses twice without face coverings.

From June 15, wearing face coverings become mandatory on public transport. But Dave Thorne has seen commuters without them on Stagecoach buses in the area.

He said: "On two occasions in the last week I have noticed passengers on the bus travelling through Bromham not wearing a mask.

Editorial image for illustrative purposes only (Shutterstock)Editorial image for illustrative purposes only (Shutterstock)
Editorial image for illustrative purposes only (Shutterstock)

"Bearing in mind the perilous state Bedford currently stands with the high number of Covid 19 cases and the directive for all passengers to wear a mask, I am appalled that drivers are allowing this practice to happen."

He said on one occasion an elderly man wasn't wearing a mask last week, while his wife spotted a younger man on another bus as well.

Last month, the Government made the wearing of face coverings mandatory on all public transport.

In a statement from the Government, they said: "Face coverings are not the same as face masks. It is important that people do not use medical grade PPE masks to ensure these remain available for frontline staff."

These can include a scarf or bandana as well as non-medical masks. Face masks or coverings are not required for children under six or for people with certain health conditions and/or disabilities.

Bedford has one of the highest infection rates in the country, Yesterday, we revealed how Bedford had 23 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours, according to Public Health England, bringing the total to 1,266.

A Stagecoach East spokesperson said: "Our experience is that the majority of passengers have been following the new rules. Most passengers are looking to do the right thing and are very supportive of the changes. However, we know that it will take some time for passengers to adapt to this new requirement. As with any change in any part of life there may be instances where people forget or aren't aware and we are helping our passengers to understand the new guidance.

"We have detailed information on our buses and across our website and social media channels, and we will continue to remind people of the importance of following the new rules to help themselves and their fellow passengers.

"The government has also published a list of categories of people who are exempt from wearing face coverings. Our free journey assistance card is available at and customers can use this as an easy way of showing they come into this category.

"As with many other changes being made as a result of the pandemic, responsibility for complying with the new government regulations lies with individuals themselves. We will continue to appeal to customers to act responsibly and provide them with all the information they need to plan their journeys and use our services safely.”