DUBLIN, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Wearing a mask or face covering on Ireland's public transport is a must starting from Monday or one could face a fine of 2,500 euros (2,837 U.S. dollars) or an imprisonment of six months or even both of them, according to new regulations issued by the Irish government.
Under the new regulations, all passengers on public transport, whether it is on a train, tram, bus or taxi, must wear a mask or face covering and public transport operators have the authority to deny the entry of any passengers who fail to do so.
If passengers fail to comply with the new rules without a justified excuse, police will step in to solve the issue, according to the new regulations, which are aimed at avoiding a second hit of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country as Ireland is reopening its society and business.
Ireland reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 at the end of February. To date, more than 25,000 infections have been reported in the country with over 1,700 fatalities, according to the Department of Health.
The situation of the pandemic in Ireland has shown a consistent improvement over the last couple of months after reaching a peak in April. Nevertheless, local public health officials and experts are very concerned about some new trends occurring in the country. They include an obvious increase in the number of confirmed cases among young people and people who have traveled overseas.
The Irish government originally planned to allow overseas visitors to Ireland without requiring them to self-isolate for 14 days starting from July 9, but the plan has been postponed for fear of a possible surge in imported cases.