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AT welcomes mandatory face coverings on public transport in Auckland

Published: 16 November 2020

Auckland Transport (AT) is welcoming the Government’s decision to make face coverings mandatory on public transport in the city starting Thursday morning.

The Government’s new rules come into effect on Thursday. Until then, AT continues to strongly encourage people to wear face coverings on trains, buses and ferries.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff also encourages everyone to mask up on public transport.

“Widespread wearing of masks is one way that we can reduce the chances of further community transmission of COVID-19 and avoid having to go back into lockdown,” he says.

“Wearing a mask while on public transport will soon be compulsory and should be part of everyone’s standard practice, alongside not going to work when you have cold or flu-like symptoms, regular handwashing, cough/sneeze etiquette and keeping track of your location.

“Please follow these rules — they will help keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19.”

It is recommended customers wear face coverings around other people on platforms and at bus stops while waiting and keeping safe physical distance.

The new mandatory face covering rule for public transport does not apply to school buses, as they are part of a registered group or have space to physically distance where possible.

Children under the age of 12 are exempted from wearing face coverings. People with a disability or physical or mental health condition that makes covering their face unsuitable do not have to wear face coverings also. There will be other times when it is not required – such as in an emergency, if unsafe, if people need to prove their identity or to communicate with someone who is deaf, or if required by law.

AT has been supplying our public transport operators and essential front-line staff with face coverings and hand sanitiser with regular restocks to ensure their availability. Hand sanitiser stands are also still located at all of our key public transport hubs.

It is also still mandatory for QR codes to be displayed on public transport, as per Government requirements, and AT continues to recommend customers scan these codes with the NZ COVID Tracer app.

In addition to scanning the Ministry of Health’s QR code, AT recommends that customers also register their AT HOP card to help with contact tracing and to make sure contact details are up to date.

Customers can update their personal contact details on the AT website, by calling our call centre (09 355 3553) or by visiting a customer service centre.

The Government is asking everyone to continue with public health measures that have been encouraged under all Alert Levels such as washing your hands frequently, coughing into your elbow and avoiding touching your face as much as possible.

As a general rule, people should continue to adhere to New Zealand’s COVID-19 Alert Level 1 restrictions and to be vigilant for the signs of COVID-19, which can include one or more of the following:

  • New or worsening cough
  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat

Anyone who has shown these symptoms, or who develops them, should free phone Healthline for advice (0800 358 5453) and arrange to get tested.

If you’re feeling unwell then the Government says to stay home and get tested. If you are waiting for your test results, please stay isolated until you receive the negative test results.

You can read more about wearing face coverings here.

The best place to find the latest information about the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is on the Unite Against COVID-19 website.

Read more: COVID-19 Transport

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