FOI request detail

Face Covering Enforcement

Request ID: FOI-1200-2122
Date published: 04 October 2021

You asked

How much does it cost to employ the Enforcement Officers to enforce face coverings on Transport for London services and what income is raised by the fines imposed?

We answered

Our Ref:         FOI-1200-2122

Thank you for your request received on 7 September 2021 asking for information about the enforcement of face coverings on our network.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we hold some of the information you require. You asked:

How much does it cost to employ the Enforcement Officers to enforce face coverings on Transport for London services and what income is raised by the fines imposed?

Transport for London (TfL) did not employ any additional officers to meet the national mandatory requirement for face covering on public transport, when it was in force 15 June 2020 – 19 July 2021. Our existing compliance and enforcement operational officers took on this responsibility. Our enforcement teams are specially trained and patrol the transport network to ensure compliance with our rules and regulations, and to keep customers and colleagues remain safe. As we did not employ officers specifically to enforce face coverings we cannot provide an answer to the first part of your request.

The legal requirement to wear face coverings came into force on 15 June 2020. TfL’s initial approach was to engage and explain the new requirement through extensive customer-facing communications, and by frontline staff. For the initial three weeks following the announcement of the legal requirement, more than 100,000 complementary facemasks were handed out by frontline staff along with advice and guidance at our busiest train and bus stations to encourage compliance. TfL began enforcing this regulation on 9 July 2020, and between 9 July 2020 and 16 July 2021 a total of 4,365 fixed-penalty notices (FPNs) were issued by TfL enforcement officers. Around 500 enforcement officers across TfL modes were involved in face covering compliance activity. The legislation covering the legal enforcement of face covering was withdrawn on the 19 July 2021.
The cost of ensuring compliance with the mandatory requirement for face coverings on public transport is not limited to the employment cost of enforcement staff. It also encompasses other costs, including customer engagement by frontline colleagues, issuing face masks, media, marketing and communications. More information about the work we have done to make travelling by public transport as safe as possible for our customers can be found on our website:
The value for FPNs issued during the period that face coverings were a legal requirement, to date is £217,500. 1,276 FPNs were not paid and were subsequently prosecuted successfully. TfL has been awarded a contribution towards their prosecution costs of these matters of £252,558 by the court service.
If this is not the information you are looking for please feel free to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
Senior FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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