Failure to wear face covering on public transport could result in fine and jail sentence 1 month ago

Failure to wear face covering on public transport could result in fine and jail sentence

Face coverings on public transport are mandatory from Monday unless you have a reasonable excuse.

People who fail to comply with the mandatory wearing of face coverings on public transport could potentially face fines and jail sentences.

On Friday night, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, signed the Health Act 1947 (Section 31A – Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (Face Coverings on Public Transport) Regulations 2020 for the mandatory wearing of face covering on public transport.

The regulations provide that, from Monday, members of the public cannot travel on public transport without wearing a face covering, unless they have a reasonable excuse.

Reasonable excuse 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.

Penalties for breaching the new laws requiring the wearing of face coverings on public transport include a fine of up to €2,500 or six months in jail.

“Mandatory wearing of face coverings on public transport will not only protect staff and passengers alike, but reinforce the need for all of us to embrace new habits during this pandemic," Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, said.

"Physical distancing, hand washing, cough/sneeze etiquette and face coverings are small, individual measures that can make a significant difference to many lives.

“The wearing of face coverings in appropriate settings is a sign of solidarity to your friends and family, your health service and their staff who continue to be at the frontline of this crisis and solidarity to your country as we all continue in our efforts to suppress this disease.”