Face masks to made compulsory on public transport in Ireland
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Face masks to made compulsory on public transport in Ireland

FACE MASKS are expected to become a mandatory requirement for anyone using public transport in Ireland.

The new rule will be brought to the cabinet today after recommendation by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

The Government is expected to approve the move along with a number of other key details as Ireland begins the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions.

Ministers have stressed the importance of wearing face masks, particularly as the country prepares to reopen businesses, pubs and schools in the coming months.

Mandatory face masks on public transport will ensure that an increased number of buses and trains will be allowed, something which will be ultimately necessary as people emerge from lockdown.

It's thought that public transport will operate at 50% capacity at first, though the two metre social distancing rule will not apply for passengers, according to the Irish Times.

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The NPHET will meet on Friday to discuss in further detail phase three of the roadmap for easing restrictions, which is expected to come into effect on Monday, 29 June.

Duncan Smith, Labour Party member of the Covid-19 Response Committee, welcomed the idea of a compulsory face masks on public transport.

"Face masks are an essential weapon in this battle against Covid-19," he said.

"Transport unions and indeed users of public transport have been calling for this since the middle of April.

"It is not just enough to issue a directive to the public, we need a clear, concise advertising campaign educating citizens on the proper use of face masks," he added.