Bus service chiefs have urged users to be tolerant and patient as new rules on masks come into play today.

As another two cases of Omicron were confirmed in England yesterday, transport operators and retailers prepared to re-introduce mask rules.

Yesterday, it was also announced that all people aged 18 and over are to be offered a Covid-19 booster vaccine as part of efforts to tackle the spread of the new variant.

Millions more people in the UK will become eligible for a third booster dose after early evidence suggested that higher antibody levels may offer better protection.

David Squire, managing director of Yellow Buses has urged people to be tolerant as the rules come in.

"Our drivers do not have to wear face coverings although some do choose to do so, this is because their cabs are separate to the passenger area and they are protected by screens.

"Please remember that not all disabilities are visible, therefore there may well be a valid reason why someone cannot wear a face covering which is not immediately visible, so please be tolerant of others.

"As a private company we have no powers to enforce the government announcement, however, we would ask all of our customers to comply where they are able to do so for the collective benefit of all of our customers and colleagues."

Richard Wade, Morebus general manager said: "The government has announced that wearing a face covering on public transport is mandatory, once again.

“Many of our customers have been continuing to wear the coverings, even when it was a voluntary personal decision to do so.

"Now, we must ask those on-board to follow the government’s latest instructions. Some people are exempt because they have certain physical or mental illnesses. Not all of these conditions are visible to others - so we ask that people are patient and considerate whilst travelling with us.

“Again, we’d like to emphasise that face coverings are different to face masks. They can be made easily at home - for example, with a scarf or bandana.

“Our drivers will continue to remind customers to comply with government regulations, and I am confident that the overall majority will act responsibly and do so."