13 July 2020
By Tom Collins
Passengers must wear face coverings when travelling on public transport in Cork to protect themselves and others from Covid-19, Colm Burke TD has said.
Colm Burke TD said, “The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has signed the Health Act for the mandatory wearing of face covering on public transport.
“The regulations, which come into effect from July 13, provide that members of the public shall not, without reasonable excuse, travel by public transport without wearing a face covering.
“Where a passenger is not wearing a face covering, a relevant person under the regulations may request the passenger to wear a face covering, refuse the passenger entry to the public transport vehicle, or may request the passenger to alight from the vehicle.
“A passenger must comply with these requests or they will be met with a refusal of entry. Failure to comply is an offence. People travelling via private modes of transportation such as taxis in Cork are also encouraged to wear a face covering.
“The people of Cork have done so well in following public health advice since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and we have managed to flatten the curve thanks to our combined efforts.
“But we must continue to remain vigilant and to protect ourselves and our communities in Cork by continuing to follow public health advice and doing simple things that will make the difference between us keeping the virus suppressed or going backwards.
“The regulations for the mandatory wearing of a face covering on public transport do not apply to children under the age of 13. Reasonable excuse where a face covering cannot be worn includes where a person;
cannot put one on, wear or remove a face covering because of any physical or mental illness, impairment or disability or without severe distress
needs to communicate with another person who has difficulties communicating
removes the face covering to provide emergency assistance or to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
removes the face covering to take medication”
Wearing a face covering is recommended in situations where social distancing is not possible, for example shops and busy public transport, or if you are meeting someone who is vulnerable to the virus, for example people who are cocooning. Wearing cloth face coverings may help prevent people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others.
Wearing of face coverings is recommended in the following circumstances:
· when staying 2 metres apart from people is difficult – for example, in shops, shopping centres or public transport
· by people visiting the homes of those who are cocooning
· by people who are being visited in their homes by those who are cocooning
People wearing face coverings are still advised to do the important things necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
· washing your hands properly and often
· covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
· not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
· social distancing (keeping at least 2 metres away from other people)
Cloth face coverings are not suitable for children under the age of 13 and anyone who:
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· has trouble breathing
· is unconscious or incapacitated
· is unable to remove it without help
· has special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the face covering