London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is pushing the government to change its formal advice on face masks and tell the public to cover up while outside, with face masks compulsory on public transport.
Khan says non-medical face masks should be recommended whenever people are unable or find it particularly challenging adhering to social distancing rules.
He says face coverings could help prevent the spread of the disease now, but also help reduce the risk of a second wave of infection when the lockdown is eased back into normal life.
So far the government has said the evidence on face mask use outside clinical settings is patchy, and their impact may be negligible.
Although the UK’s advice is in line with the World Health Organisation, other countries and medics have backed calls for widespread face mask use.
After the deaths of 20 bus drivers and 4 tube and rail workers from COVID-19 further measures introduced to protect TfL staff running essential services include seats near drivers being sealed off, front doors staying closed, and extra deep cleaning.