FOI request detail

how many people were stopped in total from travelling for not wearing a mask up to 10.12.20

Request ID: FOI-1828-2021
Date published: 04 January 2021

You asked

if you stopped 124,245 until they put on a mask, how many did you stop in total?

We answered

TfL Ref 1828-2021

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 10 December 2020 asking for information about the enforcement of face coverings on public transport by our enforcement staff.

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

We have mobilised hundreds of our enforcement staff, who are working alongside officers from the Metropolitan Police Service and the British Transport Police, to intervene with customers who are not complying with the legal requirement to wear a face covering on our public transport services or in our stations and who do not have an exemption. Our focus is on stopping the people who are flouting the rules, stopping them from travelling and/or issuing them a £200 fixed penalty notices for a first offence.

Our monitoring shows that overall most passengers comply with regulations or are exempt. Our monitoring shows that compliance overall is around 90% with around three quarters of passengers who do not wear a face covering saying they are exempt.

Between 4 July (when enforcement began) and 10 December, TfL officers have stopped 124,601 people from getting on our public transport services until they put on a face covering – for clarity, this is the overall number of people stopped by our enforcement officers and includes those people subsequently removed from our services and / or issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

Of the 124,601 stopped, the majority of these passengers complied, retrieving a face covering from their bag or pocket, putting it on correctly or purchasing one from a nearby shop, or had an exemption. We do not routinely record data on those who had an exemption. Of the 124,601 people stopped and couldn’t comply with the legal requirement and didn’t have an exemption, 8,987 people were prevented from boarding and 2,005 were ejected from the services. Over 1,300 people were issued with a fixed penalty notice which currently stands at £200 for a first offence (reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days).

For those who fail to pay the FPN within 28 days, we move to prosecution. To date over 170 cases have gone to court. Fines range from £250 to £440 for those pleading guilty and fines of £660 for those found guilty in their absence.

Our policing partners in the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police are also undertaking enforcement on our network. The figures above do not include police enforcement action.

Unfortunately, there will be a minority of people who think they are above the law and show a total disregard for the safety of others. We are targeting these people through our enforcement action.

Please be assured that we take this issue very seriously doing all we can to improve compliance to keep our staff and passengers safe.

If you are considering submitting a further FOI request please think carefully about whether the request is essential at this current time, as answering FOI requests will require the use of limited resources and the attention of staff who could be supporting other essential activity. Where requests are made, please note that our response time may be impacted by the current situation.

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal as well as information on copyright and what to do if you would like to re-use any of the information we have disclosed.

Yours sincerely

Sara Thomas

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

Back to top

Want to make a request?

We'll email you the response within 20 working days.

We'll publish the response online without disclosing any personal information.