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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

People in Ireland can now be jailed for not wearing face masks on Public transport

Transport workers have been urged not to police new face mask laws that come into force today amid fears of conflict between passengers.
Union chiefs have highlighted the death of a driver in France as evidence of the danger to workers.
Passengers who don’t wear a face covering on public transport can be fined or jailed from this morning - Monday.
However the head of the National Bus and Rail Workers’ union, Dermot O’Leary, predicted there will be trouble with the new regime.
“What is going to happen here I predict is that unfortunately there will be conflict, not necessarily between drivers and passengers, although that may happen, but there certainly will be conflicts between passengers,” he said.
Passengers on the Luas at St Stephen's Green, Dublin wearing protective masks

“The driver will end up in a situation ringing central control and saying there is an altercation on his bus and it then will become a public order offence where the Gardai will have to intervene.”
The NBRU chief told RTE that the union is warning its members they should not be the ones to police the law if people get aboard without masks.
“What we are saying quite clearly as a representative body of the vast majority of public transport workers we are not supporting this situation where people are put in that position,” he said.

“I know it is extreme but a bus driver was killed in France last week when he got involved in an altercation where people were not wearing face covering and I hope no one is seriously suggesting that any of my members or their colleagues would be put in that position.”
Mr O’Leary slammed transport chiefs for not putting any plan in place to have people to enforce.
“It is a bit late in the day now on a Sunday with the law coming into effect in 12 hours’ time to be asking how to resource it.
“The National Transport Authority who have a direct role to play here are very good at having mystery shoppers on buses, watching drivers how they perform and making sure buses are clean. 
“I am sure they could have if they listened to the likes of me could have put resources in place to police this.”
Taoiseach MicheĆ”l Martin confirmed on Friday that regulations were being signed to make the wearing of face masks on public transport obligatory from today.
People who fail to comply could face up to six months in prison and a fine of €2,500.
Under the new rules, gardaĆ­ can be called to enforce the law.

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