Masks to be made compulsory on public transport

Shane Ross to recommend that buses, trains to run at 50 per cent capacity

Ministers have insisted that the wearing of masks will become more important as coronavirus restriction are lifted and Ireland exits lockdown. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Ministers have insisted that the wearing of masks will become more important as coronavirus restriction are lifted and Ireland exits lockdown. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

 

Masks are to become mandatory on public transport as the Government moves to increase capacity on bus, train and Luas services as more people return to work.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross is set to bring proposals to Thursday’s Cabinet meeting which would make the wearing of masks on all public transport compulsory.

The Government’s messaging to the public around masks has been criticised and Ministers have insisted that the wearing of masks will become more important as coronavirus restrictions are lifted and Ireland exits lockdown.

The two metre social distancing rule for public transport operators would cease to apply and instead buses, trains and other public transport operators would be allowed operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Mr Ross, in what is likely to be one of his last moves as Minister for Transport at what it is expected to be the Fine Gael-Independent government’s last Cabinet meeting, will recommend that regulations be changed to enforce the new rule.

The issue was discussed at a Cabinet sub-committee meeting on Wednesday and it is expected that the mandatory mask rule will take effect in the next week or two, although no date has been set.