Ardern hopes Kiwis will make public transport mask wearing 'new normal' as mandatory rule remains

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this afternoon announced that Cabinet has decided to continue to make face coverings mandatory on all public transport, across all of New Zealand and regardless of Covid-19 alert level.

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Face masks on public transport will remain mandatory for all of New Zealand, as Auckland reverts to Alert Level 1. Source: 1 NEWS

It comes as Auckland will join the rest of New Zealand at Alert Level 1 at 11.59 tonight.

Ardern re-iterated some of the public transport face mask requirements at this afternoon's press conference.

"In small passenger vehicles such as taxis and Ubers, all drivers must wear a face mask, not mandatory for passengers but encouraged to do so," she said.

"People will be allowed to remove their face masks to eat, drink or take medication on public transport journeys if eating and drinking is allowed on the public transport."

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Jacinda Ardern is promising to be vaccinated publicly. Source: 1 NEWS

In terms of exemptions, children under 12 and those who have a medical reason for not wearing a mask are not required to wear them.

For all the rules on face coverings click here.

"Drivers cannot stop people from boarding public transport who are not wearing a face covering as some people will have legitimate reasons not to. However, they will encourage members of the public to wear them," Ardern said.

She again reminded people to be kind to public transport workers, who are just doing their jobs.

"Aucklanders have already been wearing face masks on public transport since late last year and I hope we can make it a part of normal life."

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The PM’s announcement comes despite one new community case today — someone already in quarantine who is a household contact of a previous cases. Source: 1 NEWS

Ardern says the order will be kept under review as vaccines are rolled out and may be updated at a later date.