Compulsory Face Coverings Will Help Rebuild Confidence in SPSV Sector

7 December 2020

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has signed a Regulation that requires passengers and drivers to wear face coverings when travelling by or using a small public service vehicle (SPSV).

Under the regulation there is now a legal requirement to wear a face covering when travelling in a taxi, hackney or limousine.

NTA Chief Executive Officer Anne Graham said:

“We very much welcome the Minister’s decision to sign this regulation. The clear and consistent message is that face coverings make journeys safer for passengers and for drivers.

We asked about Covid risk in a recent survey and 92% of current customers said they felt safe in taxi. We believe that this Regulation will increase people’s confidence in the SPSV sector, and encourage more people back into our taxis. The take-up of face coverings in taxis is already very high, and we would like to thank those customers for responding so positively.

The signing of this Regulation will enable us to get the message out loud and clear that face coverings must be worn. We are asking people to do the right thing and exercise their personal responsibility. My mask protects you. Your mask protects me, so remember to put one on before you get into the car.

Taxis, hackneys and limousines are important parts of the Transport for Ireland public transport network. They have been operating throughout Covid-19 and continue to provide their essential door to door services to passengers.

We also encourage people to download the TFI Driver Check app, for reassurance that they are travelling with a registered taxi driver.”

Under the regulation, drivers of taxis, limousines and hackneys are entitled to refuse carriage to somebody not wearing a face covering, and are entitled to curtail a journey if a passenger removes their face covering en-route.

The driver is not required to wear a face covering when the vehicle is not in use as an SPSV, or when they are alone in the vehicle, but are required to wear one at all other times.