Ireland makes face coverings mandatory in retail settings

Wearing face coverings in retail settings such as shops and shopping centres has been made mandatory in Ireland, and those who violate will face a fine of up to 2,500 euros ($2,935) or six months in jail.

The rule, which came into effect on Monday, does not apply to children aged below 13 or to workers who are separated from customers by a screen or can maintain a two-metre distance, reports Xinhua news agency.

Earlier last month, the Irish government had already made it mandatory for people to wear face coverings on public transport.

Monday was supposed to be the first day for Ireland to move into the fourth phase of reopening its economy and society.

However, the move has been postponed by the government due to a recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The Irish Department of Health on Monday night reported another 57 new cases, taking the total to 26,768.

Most of these cases were related to clusters in the three counties of Kildare, Offaly and Laois.

Ireland embarked on a four-phase road of reopening its economy and society in mid-May with each phase lasting for three weeks.

The first three phases were carried out as scheduled, but the last phase, which was first planned to be implemented on July 20, has been twice delayed due to the resurgence of the virus in the country.