The government has mentioned that bus and train companies must select whether passengers have to wear face masks from Monday when Covid rules will be relaxed in England.
Face masks have been compulsory on public transport for the past year to reduce the spread of the virus.
But those rules will be changed with government guidance advising passengers to wear face coverings only on busy services.
The decision to mandate face coverings and how to implement it will be left to the transport firms.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid mentioned masks would still be “recommended” on public transport, but people without a face covering would no longer be fined after restrictions are relaxed on 19 July.
However, bus and train companies will still be able to turn away passengers who refuse to wear one – unless they are exempt.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, mentioned some of the 3.8m people classed as clinically susceptible would be “fearful” to go on public transport if masks were not mandatory.
He shared with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he had not yet decided whether to wear masks on trams in Manchester as he wanted to avoid adding to people’s confusion.
Treasury Minister Stephen Barclay shared with BBC Breakfast that the emphasis was now on “trusting the British public” to take a careful approach. There would be detailed guidance for vulnerable people.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan mentioned the safest option would be to continue to legally necessitate people to wear masks on public transport.
His comments came as Labour criticised the government’s unlocking method in England as “high risk” and “fatalistic”.
While virtually all legal restrictions in England will be relaxed on Monday, some guidance will continue.
There will no longer be restrictions on how many people can meet, and the 1m-plus distancing rule will be taken off.
Nightclubs will also be permitted to reopen for the first time since March 2020, and capacity limits will be removed for all places and events.
But nightclubs and other venues with large crowds will be urged to use Covid status certification – so-called domestic vaccine passports – “as a matter of social responsibility”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned on Monday.
Government advice to work from home where possible will be lifted, but ministers are uring a gradual return to the workplace.
On face coverings, Mr Johnson mentioned, “We expect and recommend that people wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with those you don’t normally meet, such as on public transport.”
Asked if Monday’s rule changes were unalterable, as has been repeatedly stated, Mr Johnson mentioned he hoped they were, but “we must rule nothing out”.
And in the Commons, Mr Javid mentioned the government would “have a review” in September “to make sure that we’re properly set up for autumn and for winter”.