New campaign urges use of face masks

Additional measure aimed at stopping virus
  • Deborah Condon

A new campaign to encourage the wearing of face coverings has been launched.

According to the Department of Health, wearing cloth face coverings may help prevent people who do not know they have COVID-19 from spreading it to others. It recommends that they are worn in the following circumstances:
-When staying two metres apart from people is difficult, for example, in shops or on public transport
-When meeting someone who is vulnerable to the virus, e.g. if you are visiting someone who is cocooning or if you are being visited in your home by someone who is cocooning, you should wear a covering.

The new campaign was launched by the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, and the CEO of the National Transport Authority (NTA), Anne Graham.

"Our message is simple - if you are in situations where social distancing is difficult, such as on public transport or in shops, please wear a face covering.

"It's also a good idea to wear one when you are visiting someone who is vulnerable to the virus. In this way, we can help to reduce the spread of the virus, which is more important than ever as our country continues to reopen," the Taoiseach commented.

The Minister for Health emphasised that face coverings are "not a magic shield", however they are "an additional measure aimed at stopping the spread of the virus".

Even if you wear face coverings, you are still advised to continue to wash your hands properly and often, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough/sneeze, and keep at least two metres apart from other people.

Cloth face coverings are not suitable for children under the age of 13 and anyone who:
-Has trouble breathing
-Is unconscious or incapacitated
-Is unable to remove it without help
-Has a disability and may feel upset or uncomfortable wearing it.

The campaign to encourage more people to wear face coverings was recommended by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and it will include a national and regional radio and press campaign, which will be followed by a social media and TV campaign.

For more information on face coverings, click here.


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