From Monday 31 August and for the duration of Alert Level 2, it will be compulsory to wear a face covering when using public transport in Nelson.
The Government mandate applies to buses, trains, planes and ferries and is required for everyone aged 12 and over. The rule applies to Alert Level 2 or above. Passengers in smaller vehicles, such as taxis, do not have to wear face coverings, but drivers do.
A face covering is a non-medical-grade, fabric mask that can be made or bought online or in shops. However, other kinds of coverings, such as bandanas or scarves, may also be used.
Bus drivers will be encouraging passengers to wear face coverings, but are not expected to enforce this rule. It is up to the passenger to take responsibility for keeping themselves and other passengers safe by wearing a face covering.
The new face covering rule is in addition to physical distancing measures, which remain in place on all public transport.
Alec Louverdis, Group Manager Infrastructure, says wearing a face covering or mask is one of the key ways, alongside physical distancing, good hand hygiene and contact tracing, that you can help protect your community from the spread of COVID-19.
“New Zealand pulled together during lockdown and led the way when it came to demonstrating how to keep COVID-19 under control. However, we always knew that another outbreak was possible, and we are well equipped to deal with it. By wearing face coverings where it is difficult to physically distance, and taking part in thorough contact tracing, we can make sure COVID-19’s time on our shores is once again limited.”
Nelson’s public transport services have been displaying the NZ COVID Tracer app QR codes since Alert Level 2 began, however, this will become mandatory on all public transport and small passenger services from 11.59pm on September 3.
Passengers with a registered Bee Card can also use this for contact tracing, so please remember to tag on and off if using this method.