Both the NSW Department of Education (DOE) and Transport for NSW (TFNSW) have clarified that no child will be left stranded should they fail to wear a face mask on public transport.
The clarification comes after questions were raised over how the COVID-19 Mandatory Face Coverings Public Health Order would be policed once school resumes.
In accord with the Public Health Order, all students over the age of 12 who travel to and from school via public or chartered/private transport must mask up on buses and trains, as well as at train stations and bus stops.
Concerns over how the new rule would impact Central Coast school services emerged as a result, with families reliant on public transport unsure as to how a lost or damaged mask would affect their child’s ability to get to and from school.
However, both the DOE and TFNSW have issued assurances that no school student will be turned away from public transport, with school students to be given priority over other customers on general services, even if this means a service goes over physical distancing capacity.
“It is important to note that no school student will be turned away from public transport, even if the student is not wearing a mask,” a spokesperson for TFNSW said.
“The Public Health Order will be enforced by NSW Police.
“Transport staff cannot enforce it or refuse a service due to customers not wearing a mask.