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New national campaign to be launched on the use of face coverings

A new national campaign is being rolled out around the wearing of face coverings. It follows a re...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

06.46 12 Jun 2020


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New national campaign to be la...

New national campaign to be launched on the use of face coverings

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

06.46 12 Jun 2020


Share this article


A new national campaign is being rolled out around the wearing of face coverings.

It follows a recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) on Thursday.

It says there should be a national communications campaign, to increase compliance with current recommendations on their use.

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It will outline best practice for use of face coverings in areas such as retail outlets, on public transport and in other public locations where it may be difficult to maintain social distancing.

The current advice from the Government says face covering should be worn in situations where social distancing is not possible, or by those meeting someone who is vulnerable to the virus.

"Wearing cloth face coverings may help prevent people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others", it says.

However, there have been increasing calls for the wearing of such coverings to be made mandatory.

Immunologist Professor Luke O'Neill has said wearing face coverings should be a condition of travel on public transport.

"It's just called a condition of travel: you can't get on the bus with a gun, nor can you get on a bus without a mask", he said.

"The evidence has got stronger and stronger and stronger - even a month ago in my opinion it was extremely strong.

"The reluctance is staggering - I suspect they haven't kept up with the science, our experts, sadly".

"I think it's getting through in the end, and we're going to see more and more of this".

But he added: "The messaging has been all wrong on this one, especially this week tragically.

"The messaging has to be 100% crystal clear, signs up everywhere: 'Wear a mask'.

"There's ways of getting the public to sort of comply with health guidance...and this should be all put in place now.

"Otherwise people go 'I'm not going to bother wearing it'".

While the head of the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) said legislation is needed so people will wear face coverings on public transport.

Dermot O’Leary said: "This is a concern about commuters and society at large travelling on public transport.

"If you don't have clear policy from the top, if you don't have leadership - which is distinctly lacking here - handing over political decisions, albeit in a public health crisis, has shown and demonstrated that the mixed messages coming from the health and indeed the scientific community has led to this confusion across society I would say".

"I'm hoping that the leadership will be forthcoming, I'm hoping the debate is heightened to such a level now that those in positions of authority will make that decision sooner rather than later".

"And I think there's a groundswell now of support out there in the medical community and the scientific community.

"I've heard some of the negative connotations around why we shouldn't have a policy on it, and some people have difficulty wearing masks.

"I think people know full-well the etiquette they have to practice now."

"The policy has to come, and I would suggest at this stage we need legislation to ensure that people wear face coverings on public transport and other crowded areas."

Main image: People wearing face masks on public transport in Dublin city. Pictrue by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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Best Practice Communications Campaign Face Coverings Face Masks NPHET National Campaign Public Transport Retail Outlets

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