Bus and train drivers must enforce compulsory masks on public transport, according to new guidance on the law.
Face coverings have to be worn from today, those who don’t run the risk of a fine or jail time.
Guidance was issued last night to Gardaí and operators about who will enforce the new rule.
Antoinette Cunningham from the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors says its now been made clear that drivers should police it, she maintains Gardaí will act in a secondary capacity to address any issues that may arise.
However, National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) general secretary Dermot O’Leary claimed that no guidance has been issued to transport staff. Mr O’Leary spoke to RTE via Press Association:
“In relation to our members, we will not be policing and we will not be enforcing this legislation. It’s not our role to do it. A Bus driver’s job is to drive the boss, not to police the laws of the land.”
“What’s missing here is the lack of consultation between us in the front line and our members, and the people who make these laws and the people who make the decisions, particularly the National Transport Authority (NTA).”
“SIPTU represents public transport operators and say their members are not trained to make people wear face coverings. John Murphy is from the union – he says they still have concerns.”
People who don’t follow the new law will have to pay a 2,500 euro fine, or face six months in prison.