A Hovertravel crossing was stopped mid-flight and two passengers have now been banned from using the cross-Solent service, following an argument over the wearing of a face covering.

Hampshire Constabulary says its officers met the 1730 crossing from Southsea on Friday, June 26, as it arrived in Ryde.

Police say all parties involved were spoken to, following a verbal altercation about one passenger wearing a facemask which - according to officers - apparently had a broken strap.

Isle of Wight Police say no formal complaint was made and the passenger was dealt with by Hovercraft staff.

Hovertravel told the County Press the pair had been 'verbally abusive': "Hovertravel staff have engaged with these customers on a number of previous occasions, explaining the reasons why, and encouraging the use of, face coverings.

"The Captain stopped the hovercraft during the crossing to re-iterate the regulations but was forced to escalate the process by involving the police to enforce compliance.

"The customers became verbally abusive and so Hovertravel followed its zero tolerance policy to any abusive behaviour by cancelling both customers’ travel cards. These two individuals will no longer be permitted to travel with Hovertravel."

New rules require anyone travelling on public transport in England to cover their mouth and nose, though a surgical-style mask is not required. Operators say they will refuse travel to those who do not comply with the new government requirments.

Read more: Face masks required on Isle of Wight public transport