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Cabinet meets today on Phase Three, with mandatory face coverings on public transport top of list

A Cabinet sub-committee, meanwhile, has agreed to ease restrictions on air travel to some countries within Europe from July.

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CABINET WILL MEET today to consider a proposal to make face coverings mandatory for travel on public transport.

The National Public Health Emergency Team will also meet today to discuss easing restrictions in the third phase of Ireland’s roadmap.

It will then make a number of recommendations to Government with a decision to make face coverings on public transport mandatory expected to be signed off on by Cabinet ministers when they meet.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, Minister for Transport Shane Ross said that as restrictions ease, public transport will come under pressure. 

Capacity on public transport will be increased to full capacity over the coming weeks, he said, but to protect people’s health, face coverings will become mandatory. 

Ross said the date for the rule coming into effect has not been decided but is “imminent”.

He said anyone under 13 does not have to wear face masks and “obviously” there are situations where people cannot wear face coverings due to health reasons, adding that people are urged to wear face coverings and guidelines will be put on the Department of Transport’s website shortly. 

A Cabinet sub-committee, meanwhile, has agreed to ease restrictions on air travel to some countries within Europe from July.

It is understood restrictions will be eased where ‘air bridges’ are established. The air bridges will link Ireland with other countries in Europe where the spread of Covid-19 has been similarly suppressed. 

TheJournal.ie reported previously that air bridge deals could be struck with France, Portugal, Germany, and perhaps Greece. Government officials have already begun talks with other countries, the Taoiseach has confirmed. 

Ross said this morning that ‘air bridges’ were being considered but that no countries have been nominated yet. 

Meanwhile, NPHET has been asked to review the number of people attending places of worship amid criticism of guidelines stating that churches could only resume services with a maximum of 50 people in attendance from 29 June. 

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan previously indicated that the 50 person limit will apply to all indoor gatherings. 

NPHET last night confirmed that a further six people with Covid-19 have died in Ireland.

Five new cases of the virus were also confirmed yesterday evening.

There has been a further drop in patients with Covid-19 in hospitals, Health Minister Simon Harris confirmed this morning. Nine patients are now in ICU and 31 patients are in hospital with the virus.

With reporting from Christina Finn 

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