‘A few people blatantly refuse’ - Police patrol buses to enforce mask-wearing

Great Yarmouth beat manager Andy Hunt carrying out mask-wearing patrols on Great Yarmouth buses. Pho

Great Yarmouth beat manager Andy Hunt carrying out mask-wearing patrols on Great Yarmouth buses. Photo: Great Yarmouth Police Twitter - Credit: Archant

Police carried out patrols on coastal buses to make sure passengers were wearing face masks.

The bus depot on Caister Road, Great Yarmouth. A driver is in hospital with coronavirus First Bus ha

The bus depot on Caister Road, Great Yarmouth. A driver is in hospital with coronavirus First Bus has confirmed Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2006

Between Friday and Sunday, officers enforced coronavirus rules on public transport in Great Yarmouth town centre.

Area operations manager for First Bus, Alvin Parker, said he welcomed the patrols after drivers were getting fed up with those who “blatantly refuse to wear a face covering”.

He said: “In Great Yarmouth and up and down the country, most people have been sensible and considerate, but our drivers do experience a few people who blatantly refuse to wear a face covering which is not helpful to anyone.

“Last weekend, the police were undertaking checks at the bus station, ensuring people were complying with the face covering rule when travelling by bus unless they were exempt.


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“We welcome the support provided by the police which does help in reminding people of the rule and in turn helps our drivers get customers to their destinations more safely.”

A Norfolk police spokesperson said the patrols followed “a recent rise in local cases of coronavirus”, and were aimed at “providing additional reassurance to the local community while cases continue to fall”.

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According to the constabulary, officers gave out warnings to a few people, but didn’t resort to fines.

It added: “There were high levels of compliance and while words of advice were given on a couple of occasions, no fines were issued.”

The patrols, though initiated by police and not requested by First Bus, came after it was revealed a company driver is in hospital suffering from coronavirus.

The driver, based at the Great Yarmouth depot, is being treated at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston.

But in a statement last week, Mr Parker said: “We have no evidence that the event occured through workplace transmission.

“We have strict safety measures in place on our buses and at our bus depot with social distancing, deep cleans and reduced capacities in place.

“I am confident that with all the measures we have in place we are managing to help keep the numbers of ‘positive Covid cases’ down to a minimum both within our business and in the town.

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