Face coverings must be worn on London’s transport network despite restrictions easing on 19 July, London’s mayor says.

Sadiq Khan said he was not prepared to put Tube, tram and other transport users at risk by relaxing the rules on face coverings.

Face masks have been mandatory on public transport for the past year to reduce the spread of the virus.

But those rules will be replaced with government guidance advising passengers to wear masks only on busy services.

England is removing most of its Covid restrictions next Monday, and while Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he expects masks to be worn in crowded places, such as on a busy Tube train, their use will no longer be compulsory.

But Mr Khan has gone further and made it a condition of carriage for the Tube, bus, tram, DLR, Overground and TfL Rail.

This means that, despite the easing of restrictions on 19 July, it will be listed as a condition in a legal agreement  between TfL and its customers.

Mr Khan said: “We know from the government’s own advisors and from the World Health Organisation, that wearing a face covering indoors does reduce transmissions.

“It leads to greater public safety and greater public confidence as well.

“As long as the virus is still with us, and as long as we’re still concerned about the virus being transmitted, we will make it compulsory.”

He said he was “confident you will see from Monday high levels of the rules being followed just like there have been since last June”.

TfL’s 400 enforcement officers will deny those without a face covering from using London transport, under the plan.

TfL staff and bus drivers will continue to remind passengers that masks are a requirement, Mr Khan said.

London is the first English city to insist on face coverings after Covid restrictions ease.

But Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has said he will not ‘”rule out” mandating face masks on public transport.

Mr Burnham told the BBC he had not yet taken the decision to mandate masks on trams in Manchester and wanted to avoid adding to people’s confusion.

And in Scotland the mandatory use of face coverings will remain in place for Țsome time”, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said, even after the country eases most of its other restrictions on 19 July.

The rules for masks apply in shops and public transport – as well as pubs and restaurants when not seated.

Transport for London is the first operator to say that it will make wearing a mask a condition of carriage, unless you’re exempt. This is far stronger than just guidance or a suggestion – those without will be denied travel.

The London Mayor has said that as well as suppressing the virus it is also about giving passengers confidence.

Other operators do not feel the same way – many are worried that requiring face masks will make passengers think that public transport is less safe than other indoor settings like pubs and restaurants at a time when they desperately need the numbers on board to go up.

Transport for London is the first operator to say that it will make wearing a mask a condition of carriage, unless you’re exempt. This is far stronger than just guidance or a suggestion – those without will be denied travel.

The London Mayor has said that as well as suppressing the virus it is also about giving passengers confidence.

Other operators do not feel the same way – many are worried that requiring face masks will make passengers think that public transport is less safe than other indoor settings like pubs and restaurants at a time when they desperately need the numbers on board to go up.