Mr Ross said he suspects face masks 'will either be very cheap' or people 'will be able to make them themselves'
TRANSPORT Minister Shane Ross has said wearing a face mask while using public transport will soon become mandatory.
Mr Ross said under 13's will not be required to wear a face coverings and that exceptions will be made for "special situations where people can't wear face masks for health reasons."
He added that the move will allow more commuters on public transport by increasing capacity to 50 pc.
He told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that it will be a "mandatory" requirement, adding: "In other words, anybody from now on going on public will have to wear a face mask in the period this is introduced."
An exact date for when the measure will be introduced has not yet been decided, but is expected to be implemented within "the next few weeks."
Mr Ross said the Department of Health will provide regulations but that masks for medical use will not be required.
He said: "The regulations will be made by the by the Department of Health, but my understanding is that it's always been that technically face masks mean medical masks for medical use, those won't be necessary.
"The requirements will probably go up on the website but it wouldn't be as stringent as people wearing very strong medical masks."
Mr Ross said he suspects the face masks "will either be very cheap" or people "will be able to make them themselves."
He said a campaign will be launched to advise the public how face masks should be used as wearing them incorrectly "is actually counterproductive."
"This is very, very important because people are putting on face masks at the moment and not knowing how to use them. I did myself the first time I did as well.
"There's going to be a serious communications campaign accompanying this, to make sure that people know how to use and feel familiar with them," he added.