Pictured: Tube passengers are STILL flouting face mask rules

Tube passengers were today still flouting face mask rules a week after it became law to wear them on public transport. 

Commuters on the Jubilee Line were pictured this morning without a face covering, despite the threat of a £100 fine or being kicked off the train. 

Others were seen with a mask hanging down from their chin, even though they only work properly – by blocking exhaled droplets – if they cover the wearer’s mouth and nose. 

Thousands of face masks have been handed out to Tube and train passengers across England after it became compulsory to wear them on all forms of public transport to reduce coronavirus infection rates.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was criticised for scenes of packed Tube carriages in the first three months of the lockdown, and he faces intense pressure to prevent the transport system contributing to a deadly second wave. 

Transport for London today said compliance with the new law was ‘around 80 to 90%’. MailOnline has asked TfL, the National Police Chiefs’ Council the British Transport Police how many fines have been issued so far.  

Several commuters were seen without face masks on the Jubilee Line on the London Underground this morning. Rule breakers risk a £100 fine or being kicked off the service 

Some people were wearing masks but had them hanging over their chin, rather than the mouth, like this man on the Jubilee Line this morning (pictured)

Some people were wearing masks but had them hanging over their chin, rather than the mouth, like this man on the Jubilee Line this morning (pictured) 

Thousands of face masks have been handed out to Tube and train passengers across England after it became compulsory to wear them on all forms of public transport. Pictured is a man on the Jubilee Line today

Thousands of face masks have been handed out to Tube and train passengers across England after it became compulsory to wear them on all forms of public transport. Pictured is a man on the Jubilee Line today 

In other coronavirus developments:  

  • Another 43 deaths were confirmed across the UK on Sunday, taking the total number of people to have died so far to 42,632; 
  • The daily addition is higher than last Sunday – when the 36 recorded fatalities were the fewest since the Sunday before lockdown, March 22;
  • But Britain’s downward trend is continuing and there have now been five days in June on which fewer than 100 deaths have been counted, after none in April or May;
  • Boris Johnson is reportedly planning to expand ‘social bubbles’ to allow more grandparents to see their relatives – although the details are still being finalised; 
  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested that drinkers will need to register to go to pubs and order using an app when they reopen from July 4;
  • Unions have warned the employment market is on ‘red alert’ and the UK could be facing a 1930s-style wave of joblessness;
  • The Government is planning new laws to protect British companies hit by the pandemic from takeovers by foreign companies;
  • Two rival vaccines being developed by British universities could be used together to provide lasting immunity to coronavirus.

Police have been given powers to pull passengers off Tubes, trains and buses if they refuse to wear face masks.

Some 3,000 British Transport Police (BTP) officers have been deployed to the busiest railway stations to make sure all passengers are complying with the new rules.

Guidance gives constables the power to use ‘reasonable force’ to remove rulebreakers from public transport if necessary.

Those that flout the restrictions risk £100 fines but these should only be issued as a ‘last resort’, according to the guidance from the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the College of Policing.

Police will take a soft approach over the next week with passengers gently reminded of the new rules, but are likely to resort to tougher enforcement later in the month as passenger numbers continue to rise.

The new rules have been enshrined under the same public health legislation used to fine people who flouted lockdown rules at the beginning of the outbreak. This means it is the responsibility of police, and not transport staff, to enforce them.

Staynton Brown, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Talent for TfL, said today: ‘Following new Government guidance, everyone must now wear a face covering while using on public transport unless they are exempt. 

‘TfL staff and policing partners have been fully briefed on the exemptions, and to support customers and to make it easier for staff and the police to know who should and shouldn’t wear a face covering, we have introduced a new exemption card that customers will be able to download and carry with them or display on their mobile phone. 

‘This will provide reassurance to a number of different groups, including those with some conditions, who might have difficulties wearing face coverings.’  

Another man pictured this morning on the Jubilee Line with a face mask hanging down from his chin. Masks only work properly when they are covering the mouth and nose

Another man pictured this morning on the Jubilee Line with a face mask hanging down from his chin. Masks only work properly when they are covering the mouth and nose 

Transport for London insists there is a 'high level of compliance' with the new law and police have been told to only issue fines as a 'last resort'. Pictures taken today suggested that most people are obeying the new rules

Transport for London insists there is a ‘high level of compliance’ with the new law and police have been told to only issue fines as a ‘last resort’. Pictures taken today suggested that most people are obeying the new rules 

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was criticised for scenes of packed Tube carriages in the first three months of the lockdown, so he faces intense pressure to prevent the transport system (pictured today: the Jubilee Line) contributing to a second wave

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was criticised for scenes of packed Tube carriages in the first three months of the lockdown, so he faces intense pressure to prevent the transport system (pictured today: the Jubilee Line) contributing to a second wave

The new rules have been enshrined under the same public health legislation used to fine people who flouted lockdown rules at the beginning of the outbreak. Most commuters on the Jubilee Line this morning were seen with a proper face covering

The new rules have been enshrined under the same public health legislation used to fine people who flouted lockdown rules at the beginning of the outbreak. Most commuters on the Jubilee Line this morning were seen with a proper face covering

Boris Johnson is hoping preventative measures like compulsory face masks on public transport will reduce infection rates while allowing the country to ease out of the economically-crippling lockdown. 

Tomorrow, the PM is set to announce the expansion of household bubbles, suggesting millions of grandparents may get to squeeze their grandchildren again soon.

Current guidelines allow for groups of up to six to meet in the open air, while staying over two meters apart. Only those living together, or who have chosen to expand their ‘support bubble’ to include one other nominated person from another household, can touch or be closer than two meters. 

This has caused tough choices for parents forced to decide which grandparent their children can visit. However this could soon be alleviated if an eased policy is approved, such as an unlimited merging of two households within a bubble.

A senior government source told The Telegraph: ‘There will be an expansion of social bubbles, but the details are still being finalised.’ 

Another possibility could be to allow households to merge with a limited number of people from more than two different households, to ensure families are not forced to choose which set of grandparents get their hugs.  

A second government source said: ‘The question with bubbles has always been how you help families reunite to the maximum possible extent without too much risk. The scientists’ main concern has always been infections spreading from one household to another, which is why this is one of the more difficult decisions we have to take.’  

Another 43 victims of the coronavirus were confirmed across the UK on Sunday, taking the total number of people to have died so far to 42,632

Another 43 victims of the coronavirus were confirmed across the UK on Sunday, taking the total number of people to have died so far to 42,632

Tuesday’s announcement is expected to be another step towards the eventual easing of lockdown, with pubs and restaurants also expected to reopen by July 4. 

Speaking yesterday Boris Johnson insisted coronavirus is ‘increasingly under control’ as he prepares to unveil a new ‘one metre plus’ rule within days and give Britons the green light for holidays and haircuts.

The PM said there is ‘not much more to wait now’ for movement on lockdown as he looks certain to halve the social distance in a crunch speech on Tuesday – with the caveat that other precautions such as face masks must play a bigger role. 

He stressed he is ‘sticking like glue’ to the roadmap that from July 4 will permit hairdressers in England to roll up the shutters. 

The UK holiday season is also expected to start within a fortnight when Mr Johnson gives permission for hotels and vacation parks to reopen. 

Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing another huge package of tax cuts and spending to revive UK plc after lockdown. VAT is set to be slashed as part of efforts to prop up struggling businesses and stave off mass unemployment.

As the rate of infection continues to wane, scientists have rubber-stamped the reopening salons as safe, in a change of tack cheered by the nation’s 30,000 hairdressers.

‘There’ll be a big rush to get an appointment when this is formally announced,’ a Whitehall source told the Sun, while cautioning that it will not herald a return to ‘normal’ as face coverings will be mandatory.  

The move comes after Britain reported 128 new coronavirus death on Saturday, the lowest Saturday figure since lockdown was imposed in March, bringing the total to 42,589.

The UK’s threat level was downgraded on Friday after scientists confirmed that the epidemic is shrinking by four per cent every day, and the reproduction R rate remained below one. Britain can also now test everyone showing symptoms.

VAT ‘set to be slashed’ to kickstart the economy 

Rishi Sunak looks increasingly certain to slash VAT in a bid to kickstart the economy amid coronavirus meltdown.

Amid fears many businesses face going bust due to the fallout from lockdown, the Chancellor has ordered officials to draw up options for cutting the sales tax in the coming months. 

The move could be a boost to shops, which were forced to close for months as part of the draconian restrictions to combat the pandemic. 

Although there was a surge when non-essential retailers were allowed to reopen last Monday, trade is still running at just 40 per cent of normal levels, according to the Sunday Times. The country is facing the worst recession for 300 years with 1980s levels of unemployment.

VAT was reduced in the aftermath of the Credit Crunch, and there are growing signs that the headline rate could be lowered from the current 20 per cent to 17 per cent or even 15 per cent. 

That would cost the Treasury billions and drive up public debt even further, but give businesses more headroom to offer discounts and shore up their finances.   

As ministers’ attention turns from wrestling down the virus to rescuing the economy, they are poised to revise the two-metre rule down to ‘one-metre-plus’.

The halving permits people to keep just one metre apart as long as they take precautions such as meeting outside and with a face covering, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

Mr Johnson’s relaxation of the draconian restrictions will provide a lifeline to the beleaguered holiday industry, which will open for business also on July 4 – America’s Independence Day. 

But it is understood that while hotels and bed and breakfasts will be allowed to open then, tourist sites with shared facilities, such as campsites, will have to wait longer before being given the green light. 

The encouraging signs have fed a growing clamour from the tourism industry for a clear date from which it can start accepting bookings again – and clear guidance about how it will have to operate.

Millions of families are desperately waiting to find out whether they will be able to enjoy a summer holiday after spending three months in lockdown, while holiday bosses say that the limbo has cost them billions of pounds in lost revenue.

Ministers are also negotiating ‘air bridges’ with up ten countries, including France and Spain, to allow Britons to go abroad without being subject to the Government’s controversial 14-day quarantine when they return.

A scheme to test arrivals at airports for the virus is also being piloted, which could also help end blanket restrictions. 

Mr Hancock insisted that the government is ‘on plan’ to get more sectors of the economy up and running on July 4. 

But he made clear that there is little chance of bars and restaurants getting back to business as usual any time soon. 

Asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge programme whether drinkers will need to register before going to the pub, and order using an app, Mr Hancock said: ‘That is the sort of thing that we are looking at for how do you make it safe to open things… I wouldn’t rule it out.’  

The step – previously taken in countries such as New Zealand – would allow for easier tracing of customers if someone who went to the venue is found to have been infected. 

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said Labour would support the end of the two-metre rule if other safety measures are put in place. 

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘Yes, under certain circumstances. But we also need to see a greater use of face masks, I would’ve thought.’

Crowds of people drank outside a bar in Battersea, London, as pubs and bars across the country served takeaway pints to eager revellers

Crowds of people drank outside a bar in Battersea, London, as pubs and bars across the country served takeaway pints to eager revellers 

The move towards opening up tourism comes as Mr Sunak draws up a package of measures to boost the wider economy, potentially including a cut to VAT, changes to National Insurance and tax perks for developers to encourage a house-building boom.

He said yesterday that Ministers would announce within days the results of a review into the two-metre rule, which would ‘make an enormous difference’ to businesses ‘keen to see a change’.

Many Tory backbenchers are urging Downing Street to move swiftly to open up the British tourist industry.

People might need to register for pubs 

People might need to register before going to the pub and order drinks using an app, Matt Hancock said Sunday. 

The Health Secretary confirmed the options are being considered as ways to make it ‘safe’ to reopen the hospitality industry.

Mr Hancock insisted that the government is ‘on plan’ to get more sectors of the economy up and running on July 4. Boris Johnson is expected to announce this week that the two-metre social distancing rule is being halved.

But he made clear that there is little chance of bars and restaurants getting back to business as usual any time soon. 

Asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge programme whether drinkers will need to register before going to the pub, and order using an app, Mr Hancock said: ‘That is the sort of thing that we are looking at for how do you make it safe to open things… I wouldn’t rule it out.’  

The step – previously taken in countries such as New Zealand – would allow for easier tracing of customers if someone who went to the venue is found to have been infected. 

Former Environment Minister Owen Paterson told this newspaper: ‘To have any hope of saving this summer season for our tourist industry, the Government must announce this week what the arrangements will be for reopening on July 4.

‘The tourism industry makes its money in the summer to get through the winter and we’re nearly halfway through that summer season already.

‘Ministers can’t leave our holiday parks, hotels and pubs in the dark any longer.

‘The Government must say this week that there will be a reduction in the social distancing guidance to one metre. Everything depends on that.

‘People are not going to go to restaurants, pubs and holiday parks in our beautiful tourist areas unless we cut the rule to one metre. 

‘If we don’t, large numbers of hospitality businesses just will not survive. The Government must also say that the quarantine arrangements will end on July 4, too.’

Cornish MP Scott Mann, vice-chairman of Westminster’s all-party group on hospitality and tourism, said: ‘It is vital that we give tourism-based businesses as much time as possible to plan for reopening. I want to give those businesses the best possible opportunity to get some revenue in.’

Patricia Yates, chief executive of Visit Britain, said: ‘We need to know what the plan is. The lack of Government guidelines and that uncertainty around the date is causing a great deal of consternation within the industry.’

She said that reopening in July was ‘crucial’ but warned businesses in some of Britain’s best-loved tourism destinations will still struggle even then.

Visit Britain estimates that the tourism industry, which supports three-million jobs, will suffer a £42 billion loss of income this year because of the pandemic.

British holidaymakers spent £8.3 billion on overnight stays in the UK between July and September last year.

A Downing Street spokesman said that a final decision on restarting domestic tourism had not yet been made.  

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