Oxford Bus Co and Thames Travel produce free face covering exemption card

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Addressing an issue faced by all operators, Oxford Bus Company (OBC) and Thames Travel have produced a free card to help passengers who are exempt from wearing a face covering. The operators have created cards that state ‘please be supportive. I’m exempt from wearing a face covering’ to help those passengers who cannot wear one, including those who are disabled, children under 11 and people with certain health conditions. The cards are available to print off or download via the company’s website and customers can show them on smart phones, or as a printed version.

OBC says that compliance has improved since face coverings became mandatory in shops and other venues and there has been around 90% compliance from passengers.

Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel Managing Director said: “We know that some passengers who are exempt from wearing a face covering may feel anxious about the possible reaction from other customers because they are not wearing one. This card is to help those people feel more comfortable. I also appeal to passengers to show kindness and respect towards those who cannot wear a face covering, while remembering that not all disabilities are visible.

“A face covering exemption card is a personal choice and this card is definitely not something people have to carry by law. Our drivers will not ask you to prove you are exempt from wearing a face covering. It is simply there to help you and customers have been feeding back that the cards are really helpful.

“I’m pleased to report on the whole passengers have embraced wearing face coverings when boarding and for their entire journey. It is an important way to help keep everyone safe alongside being a legal requirement.”

Rare MCV Evolution-bodied Mercedes-Benz OC500LEs 873-5 have moved from Carousel Buses to Thames Travel, where they will mainly be used on services 20 and 45. RICHARD SHARMAN