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SEPTA to Again Require Face Coverings as Pa. Reopens

The agency briefly required masks before "urging" customers to wear them

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SEPTA will require riders to wear masks starting Monday, as the southeastern portion of the state moves into the "yellow" phase of coronavirus lockdowns.

Both Gov. Tom Wolf and Philly Mayor Jim Kenney have urged residents to wear a mask when leaving home. But SEPTA changed its policy in April after police were seen forcibly removing a rider who tried to board bus without a mask.

Reinstating the policy comes as some prepare to get back to work. "Riders have made it clear that requiring everyone to wear face coverings would help make them feel safe returning to transit," General Manager Leslie Richards said in a SEPTA news release.

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The agency said most riders are already wearing masks. But it wasn't clear what would be done if a rider was not.

"There will not be enforcement by SEPTA Police, but operators, customer service attendants and other employees will remind riders without masks that they are required," spokesman Andrew Busch said.

Any face covering will suffice, whether it's a medical grade mask or something homemade with a bandana or T-shirt. And SEPTA will have some masks available at customer service locations.

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