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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C
Leah Farrell/ Passengers entering a Dublin Bus vehicle on 19 June.

Half of Dublin Bus passengers are wearing face masks but compliance on transport varies widely

Compliance across various services ranges from 40% to 98%, the National Transport Authority has said.

THE COMPLIANCE RATE of people wearing face masks or coverings on public transport varies widely, from about 40% to 98%, according to figures released by the National Transport Authority (NTA).

Last week the government announced that as part of Phase Three of easing Covid-19 restrictions, capacity on buses, trains and trams was to increase from 20% to about 50% from Monday, 29 June.

In conjunction with this move, face coverings will soon become compulsory on all public transport services.

Enforcement is not likely to begin for a few weeks – people not wearing coverings will likely be fined but the exact details are still being ironed out.

Wearing a face covering in shops and other crowded situations is also strongly recommended under public health guidelines to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

There has been anecdotal evidence that many passengers on public transport are not wearing face coverings, leading to concerns as capacity starts to increase.

Buses, trains and Luas

The NTA said about half of Dublin Bus passengers (52%) wore face coverings on their faces as of yesterday, up from 41% on Monday, but that some routes saw 70% of customers wearing face coverings. Signage on doors reminds passengers of the mandatory rule before they board the bus.

About 75-98% of passengers are wearing face masks on Bus Éireann commuter services in the Greater Dublin Area. Three in four passengers on Bus Éireann city services in Cork and Waterford are wearing face coverings, but the rate in Limerick and Galway is only about 40%.

In rural areas, the NTA said Local Link customers have “responded particularly well to the requirement for face coverings”. Over 90% of passengers on Local Link services in places such as Donegal, Laois, Offaly, Waterford, Longford, Westmeath and Roscommon are reported as wearing face coverings.

Iarnród Éireann has reported that 60% of train passengers arriving and departing from Heuston Station are using face coverings, a significant increase on previous weeks. Customers are reminded about the requirement in a number of ways including via the in-station PA system and in booking confirmation emails.

On the Luas, morning and evening peak hour trams saw the majority of customers wearing face coverings, with the numbers lower in the evening hours, the NTA said.

There is a high compliance on inter-urban services in other parts of the country too, with four out of five passengers wearing face coverings, the statement added.

Anne Graham, CEO of the NTA, thanked passengers for their compliance and said everyone must “take personal responsibility at this time and prioritise the health and well-being of everyone”.

“The feedback coming in from operators suggests that on the whole, passengers are wearing face coverings. This is vital for the increase in capacity to make sense from a public health point of view, so that more people can safely return to work,” Graham stated.

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