More than 800 people were reported for fines by Transport for London (TfL) staff for not wearing a mask on public transport in the two weeks after the government changed the rules so people could be punished.
Some 823 people were reported for a fixed penalty notice between November 30 and December 14 across the transport network, according to the latest figures available. Of these, 536 fines have been issued so far and the rest are being processed.
Fixed penalty notices are £200 for a first offence and double each time, up to £6,400. First-time fines halve to £100 if paid within two weeks.
This means TfL could be set to rake in £164,600 from the fines, as if its staff issue the fixed penalty notices, the money goes to the agency.
TfL has 500 enforcement officers on its public transport network to make sure people wear masks and follow other rules. These staff members work with the Met Police and British Transport police.
As well as the fines, some 21,602 people were challenged by TfL staff to put on a mask across the same two-week period. Most people then put one on, or went to buy a mask.
Another 1,038 were stopped from getting on services and some 491 were made to leave a station because they weren’t wearing a mask.
Mayor Sadiq Khan released the figures in response to a question from Labour London Assembly member Elly Baker.
The government made face masks compulsory again on public transport, as well as in shops and many other indoor spaces, in response to the fast spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Khan welcomed the news, saying at the time: “Provided with proper enforcement powers, TfL will now be able to work with policing partners and really boost compliance on the network, with the selfish few who refuse to wear a face covering facing a penalty fine.”