Masks will no longer be required in England from Monday, July 19, under a plan to end Covid-19 restrictions.
Stormont ministers will decide the next steps for the North of Ireland this Thursday, July 9.
Ms Mallon said she had not seen any evidence to support ending the mandatory use of masks.
“The data tells us it acts as a mitigation against the virus but it also gives passengers confidence to come back onto our public transport network,” she told BBC News NI.
“To date I haven’t seen any evidence that would warrant the immediate removal of face coverings from public transport and bars and restaurants.”
On Tuesday Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill described British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to end Covid-19 restrictions in England as “reckless” and said the North of Ireland would not be following it.
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said he hopes Northern Ireland can “move eventually” to ending the mandatory use of face coverings and making more relaxations in the weeks ahead.Ms Mallon said she did not believe it was “wise to blindly follow” another government.
“Always with Boris Johnson you need to look beyond the rhetoric – the prime minister has given a date but has strongly caveated that it will be dependent on the data,” she said.
“I want to reassure people that whatever our differences at the executive table we will look at NI-specific data to ensure we’re taking the right decisions.”
During Thursday’s meeting ministers will discuss whether to put in place indicative dates for theatres to reopen .
And they will consider lifting the limit on the number of people allowed to meet inside a home.Tags: