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Metrobus call on all passengers across Crawley to wear a mask when using the bus

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Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus are calling on everybody to follow brand new government rules and put on a face covering before they board a bus, unless they are exempt from wearing one. 

Exemptions include children under 11, people with certain health conditions and disabled people.  

Passengers with Disability Concessionary Passes should use them as normal and passengers with a Helping Hand card may show them to the driver when they board if they wish, although the company stresses that this isn’t a requirement.  

Brighton & Hove Buses’ Managing Director Martin Harris said there was understandable uncertainty with the new rules, which were still just hours old, but strongly encouraged everybody who could wear a face covering to follow the new law. 

“We all need to look out for one other during this virus,” Martin said. “Putting on a face covering before you travel is one of the most important things you can do to protect your fellow passengers and it’s now a legal requirement: if you can, you must.” 

He said that passengers would need to bring their own face coverings to cover mouth and nose securely, but this could be something as simple as a scarf or a bandana, and guidance on making your own face covering is on the government website. 

“Passengers without a face covering will not be refused travel and fellow passengers need to respect that some people people have legitimate reasons for not wearing them, and are exempt under the government rules. But people who should be wearing them can be fined up to £100 for not wearing a face covering, so it’s really important for people to get into the habit of wearing one. For now, picking up a face covering before you leave the house needs to become as natural as remembering your keys or your phone.  

“I have faith that the vast majority of people will do the right thing and put on a face covering before travelling on public transport, unless they are exempt. It’s an equally important part of the measures to enable people to travel safely, along with planning ahead to avoid the busiest journeys, high standards of frequent cleaning, capacity limitations on each bus, avoiding cash transactions as far as possible, and lots of extra buses out in service since 15 June.” 

The new rules do not require bus drivers to wear face coverings in the cab, though some may do so, since they are fully behind a screen protecting both passengers and drivers, but if a driver needs to get out and be close to members of the public, for example to assist a wheelchair user, they will wear a mask supplied by the company. 

Full government guidance is available at gov.uk/coronavirus 

Coronavirus

How safe is my school in Crawley? Education union launches COVID-19 map

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The National Education Union, the largest education union in the UK and Europe which represents over 450,000 members has launched a new website that they say provides ‘accurate, accessible and up-to-date information about the Covid-19 rate in the locality of every school in England.’

The site is aimed at people being able to check what the levels of Covid are around the school and whether the school is on a watch list or not.

They say the site is updated weekly, and the data will show the number of Covid-19 cases in a school’s surrounding area, the trend since last week (an increase or decrease in case numbers), whether or not the school is on a watchlist, and links to any local restrictions in place.

They add:

“In much of the country the map will offer reassurance that case numbers are quite low. In others, it will reinforce public health messaging from local authorities and Government that cases are higher. In all situations it will encourage members of the public to follow all public health guidance.

Where cases are higher, it will support head teachers in encouraging parents and other visitors to school sites to maintain social distancing and hygiene.”

Commenting on the launch, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“Everyone in the education sector has worked hard to make full opening of schools, colleges and universities as successful as possible this autumn, but they have been let down by the Government which hasn’t even ensured that Covid testing has kept pace with need.

“But this website will also encourage parents to support our asks of the Government that they help to support safety in our schools and colleges.

“Parents, students and staff also need urgent answers on next year’s exams, and how fit for purpose they will be. This is in light of not only the past summer’s fiasco, but also the disruption of local lockdowns in the months ahead.”

You can check the information around your local school at their new site by clicking here.

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