Wellington public transport operators want permanent mask use after latest Covid-19 scare

A drop to level one has seen some Wellington public transport users get complacent about mask wearing after face coverings were made mandatory following the latest Covid-19 community outbreak.

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Apart from Auckland in Covid-19 Alert Level 2, the rest of the country is in Level 1. Source: 1 NEWS

Wellington's public transport network, Metlink, says it noticed an overnight drop of mask usage.

“I’m not too sure about whether it's complacency, think it’s just things have been changing along the way and we need to appreciate that the Government will adjust some of its directions and guidance along the way,” Metlink’s Scott Gallacher said.

The current guidelines will be reassessed again by Cabinet on Monday with Metlink supporting a permanent change to mandatory masks on public transport.

“Think of not just yourself but other people and we just need to keep reinforcing that for people to make the right choices for themselves and other people,” Gallacher said.

However, bus drivers and train conductors don't enforce the rule. Instead, a matter for police who have focused on engagement and education - the Government says it would be a real shame if enforcement became necessary.

In Auckland, masks are now available at vending machines in more than 40 train stations and terminals.

Over 1500 have already been sold.

“We wanted to make it easy for customers to purchase a mask at the start of the journey and even for those who may have just left it at home,” Auckland Transport’s Rachel Cara said.

Cara says most people in Auckland seem to be following the rules.

Generally a really high compliance, people have got on board and are wearing their face covering when out and about."