Danes shift to mandatory face masks without a hitch

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danes shift to mandatory face masks without a hitch
Face masks became mandatory on public transport in Denmark on Saturday. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

Danes appeared to adapt easily and smoothly to mandatory face masks on public transport on Saturday morning, with no reports of fines being levied and the vast majority of passengers complying.


Denmark's transport minister, Benny Engelbrecht, who spent the morning on buses and commuter trains around Copenhagen, said he was pleased at how trouble-free the shift had been. 
"I'm extremely proud of of the many passengers, who have completely taken the new requirements on board and now use face masks completely naturally," he said. 
"Of course there are always a few who hadn't quite realised that its Saturday, and that it now applies...but those who have forgotten are instructed to put on a mask, and then they do it. There have been no people who have been in any doubt that it makes good sense." 
Transport minister Benny Engelbrecht made a tour of public transport in Copenhagen on Saturday morning. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix 
The face mask requirement came into force on all trains, buses, underground trains, ferries and taxies across Denmark on Saturday morning. 
Children less than 12 years old, people with illnesses that affect breathing, or mental or physical disabilities can be excused from the requirement.  


Operators of trains and buses in Denmark said at midday on Saturday that the introduction of face masks had gone well.   
"It is really positive that the Danes listen to the demands that are made," said Martin Krogh, communications manager at Fynbus, which runs buses on the island of Funen. 
He said that there had not been a single passenger without a face mask. 
Jette Lauridsen, a section manager at Sydtrafik, which operates buses in southern Jutland said that drivers for the company had had had to remind a few passengers of the reqiurement. 
"We do not hand out face masks, but right from the first, our inspectors have an extra one in their pockets, so those who have forgotten have been helped along the way," she said. 
Rasmus Krochin, communications manager at Dantaxi, which operates taxi, said that although customers had asked a lot of questions about how the rules applied to taxi companies, there did not seem to have been any objections. 
"People welcome it. The message we have received from the drivers is that everything has gone smoothly and in an orderly fashion." 
 DSB's information manager, Tony Bispeskov, estimateed that about nine out of ten passengers remembers their face masks. 
 "It takes a little getting used to, and not everyone has realised that it applies from the moment you enter the train station or platform," he said. 
 The face mask requirement extends initially to the end of October, but could both be ended sooner than expected or extended depending on the number of cases. 


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