General Secretary of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) Dermot O’Leary has welcomed the compliance with and an increase in mask wearing on public transport since becoming mandatory.
As part of phase three of the Government’s roadmap to reopening society and business, increased capacity on public transport to 50% and the mandatory wearing of face coverings were implemented.
Mr O’Leary said that there has been “a significant uptake” in the number of passengers wearing face coverings throughout Monday evening and into Tuesday which he said is “to be appreciated”.
He said that the RTÉ Investigates programme Inside Ireland’s Covid Battle which was broadcast last night with the second part to be broadcast tonight, demonstrated how detrimental this disease is and said “the best way we can repay our debt to the frontline health staff is to wear face coverings on public transport”.
“We continue to encourage people to wear face coverings and we want to restore confidence in public transport by people wearing face coverings in high numbers, that would restore peoples’ confidence and would see the return of people using public transport again.”
He said that people are concerned with community transmission and that by wearing face coverings on public transport, people are protecting one another and restoring confidence in people to start using public transport again.
Bus Éireann observed a substantial increase in the number of passengers using face coverings, ranging from 50% to 90% on most routes.
Southern Regional Operations Manager, Martin Walsh, said that the mandatory message “has already been clearly received and welcomed by the majority of passengers”.
“We look forward to seeing everyone cooperating with this new requirement, apart from those who may be exempted for medical reasons,” he said.
Bus Éireann drivers are also required to use a face covering during customer interactions and will be encouraging people to wear a face covering onboard.