FSU calls for wearing of face mask to be made compulsory in bank branches

Financial sector trade union says Government’s position on face coverings in banks, credit unions and post offices was now ‘untenable’

A woman passes Ulster Bank’s office on George’s Quay in Dublin wearing a face mask. The FSU trade union has called on the Government to make the wearing of face masks inside bank branches compulsory in the wake of the latest surge in the Covid infection rate. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

A woman passes Ulster Bank’s office on George’s Quay in Dublin wearing a face mask. The FSU trade union has called on the Government to make the wearing of face masks inside bank branches compulsory in the wake of the latest surge in the Covid infection rate. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

 

The Financial Services Union (FSU) has called on the Government to “immediately add” bank branches to the list of places where face masks must be worn, as the State is engulfed by record daily Covid-19 cases.

Individuals continue to be allowed to remove face coverings in a bank, credit union and post office, according to a list on the Health Service Executive (HSE) website.

Minster for Health Stephen Donnelly said in response to a parliamentary question from Labour Party TD Ged Nash in October that the wearing of face masks was not mandatory in such premises as they are “controlled environments where social distancing” should be attainable. He added that there are also security requirements in terms of ensuring the identity of individuals entering a financial institution.

Protection

“The minister’s position on face coverings in banks is now untenable. We are in the middle of a third wave of the pandemic with the numbers of people with Covid-19 at levels not seen before. It is time for bank staff to have the same protection as staff working in other retail settings,” said FSU general secretary John O’Connell, noting that in Northern Ireland banks were added to the list of workplaces requiring face coverings in October.

“Minister Donnelly should take a sensible and proactive approach and adopt an all-Ireland approach on wearing of face masks in public places and add banks to the list of places where the wearing of face masks is compulsory,” said Mr O’Connell.