Commuters will be forced to wear face coverings when on public transport, announces Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The Transport Secretary said that by June 15, face coverings will become mandatory on public transport, and people may be refused travel if they are not wearing it.

This could also lead to fines if people refuse to wear masks.

Mr Shapps clarified it does not mean surgical masks, as this is required for hospital care and other frontline workers, but the “kind of face masks you can make at home”.

He said: “If you can work from home, you should continue to do so. If you cannot work from home, you should avoid transport whenever possible.

“And if you must use public transport you must use guidance including avoiding rush hour itself.”

Mr Shapps said that he is expecting that commuters will be sensible and bring this along, and police intervention may be needed if required.

Public transport staff will also be expected to wear face coverings themselves.

He added: “It’s in everybody’s interest to make this work. It protects everybody.”

There will be volunteer journey makers to remind people to wear coverings when on public transport.

He said: “In the coming days, the government will work with union to make sure they have the supplies to be safe.”

It was clarified that this is currently a measure in England, and it will be up to Scotland and Wales to provide their own guidance.