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Ministers could soften public transport curbs in bid to get Britain back to work

A Whitehall source said: “It is costing a great deal of money to run all these train services with so few people on them" (PA)

2 min read

The Government is looking to ease coronavirus restrictions on public transport in a bid to get the country back to work and help the flagging economy, it has emerged.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that ministers are looking to boost confidence in the UK’s travel network after months of advising people to work from home wherever possible.

The move comes after Boris Johnson, who was on Friday pictured with a mask on for the first time, urged the country to “go back to work if you can” now that a host of lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

The Department for Transport has removed guidance from its website saying that people should avoid public transport where possible to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

However, the Government continues to advise that people should consider “all other forms of transport, such as cycling and walking, before using public transport”, and avoid “the busiest times and routes”.

It also remains against the law to use public transport in England without a face covering, with fines of up to £100 levied against those who flout the rule.

Whitehall sources told the Sunday Telegraph that the Government is now looking to encourage wary Brits to return to the travel network.

A source told the paper: “It is costing a great deal of money to run all these train services with so few people on them. 

“Different departments are looking at ways to ease in the message of avoiding public transport. The best way to do this, and when, is currently under discussion. There is some debate about how best to get the message across that the Government wants to allow more people to travel.”

The Department for Transport is reportedly in talks with transport operators about the best way to inform the public that their networks can be used safely.

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