Coronavirus: Dozens of Kiwi bus drivers flouting COVID-19 public transport mask rules

Bus drivers have been warned they could face fines for not wearing masks at work. 

Since Monday, it's been mandatory for passengers nationwide to don a face-covering onboard public transport, but on Thursday Newshub filmed dozens of drivers ignoring the rules. 

We've heard the advice to wear a mask, and this week face coverings became mandatory on public transport. 

But while passengers are following the rules, it appears many bus drivers aren't. 

On Thursday morning, Newshub cameras in Auckland and Wellington filmed numerous drivers not wearing face masks - and passengers weren't impressed.   

"It's not fair that we have to do it and then they're not doing it," one person said.

"If they're not wearing them, how are they expecting everyone else to kind of get on and wear them?" another told Newshub.

A third person said "everyone should just do it" because it's in the best interests of everyone's safety.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday reiterated the rules that bus drivers must too wear masks. 

"That is for their own personal safety as well as for the safety of those who are on board," she said.

When we told the Health Minister about what we'd filmed on Thursday morning, he said the Ministry of Health would be reminding bus companies about the rules. 

Auckland Transport told Newshub the only time drivers are exempt from wearing a mask is if they have a medical reason they can't wear one, or if it affects their vision - for instance, if they wear glasses, which can fog up. 

METLINK in Wellington said they have a small number of drivers who can't wear masks for the same reasons.

Public transport users caught without a mask could face a spot fine of $300 - a punishment the Health Minister says drivers aren't immune from.

"We are seeing high levels of compliance, but if there are issues where there are persistent pockets of non-compliance then of course we have options and we can take further action."

So whether you're riding the bus or behind the wheel, it's time to mask up - at least until we're back at alert level 1.