Here's how you can practice social distancing amid Covid-19 pandemic
The virus has officially become a pandemic.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced this morning that schools and universities across Ireland will be closing until March 29 due to the Coronavirus.
Childcare facilities will also be closing from tomorrow (March 13), while working from home if possible is recommended.
Indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled.
Prior to this, the HSE had already issued guidelines and how best to maintain social distancing as the country tries to limit its number of positive Coronavirus cases and slow down the spread of the virus.
The government has recommended that anybody who can work from home should do so.
Where this is not possible, work times and break times should be staggered to minimise the contact that employees have with one another.
Work travel should be minimised. Anybody returning from abroad - especially Italy - should inform their manager of their status.
If you are experiencing symptoms of the Coronavirus, it is advised that you work from home if possible.
- a cough - this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
- shortness of breath
- breathing difficulties
- fever (high temperature)
Other symptoms are fatigue, headaches, sore throat, aches and pains.
Although public transport will continue to operate as normal across the country, travellers should take precautions when using buses, trains, and other modes of public transport.
Where possible, carry hand sanitiser and use it before and after using public transport.
Avoid contact with anybody who may be coughing or sneezing on public transport and where possible, maintain a considerable distance.
The majority of flights in and out of the country are continuing to run, but those travelling through airports should take extra precautions due to the level of footfall and the confined nature of aircrafts.
Everybody entering Ireland should self isolate immediately if experiencing symptoms.
Eating and drinking out
Restaurants, bars, and clubs will remain open for the foreseeable future, but many establishments have already reported considerable drops in bookings and orders.
While the industry has encouraged the public to the continue to support local businesses where possible, social distancing can also be practiced during this time.
Particularly crowded places should be avoided where possible, and hands should be repeatedly washed throughout meals.
Keep your distance from anybody who is coughing or sneezing, as well as members of the public who are at high risk of catching the virus.
There is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 can be transmitted through food.
In enclosed spaces such as bars or clubs, keep as much distance as you can from crowds.
The government has already recommended that any indoor gatherings of more than 100 people should be cancelled. While this has not been extended to bars and clubs, precautions should still be taken.
Many clubs, including Copper Face Jacks, have already decided to close their doors following the government's advice.
Visiting friends and family
Unless you are self isolating, visiting friends and family amid the Covid-19 pandemic is still safe in Ireland.
However, precautions should be taken when visiting those who may be older or living with illnesses. You should always keep your distance from those who are coughing and sneezing, and wash your hands before and after visiting a premise.
If a friend of family member is exhibiting symptoms of the Coronavirus, you should avoid contact with them for 14 days.
Ideally, exercise should be done away from other people with equipment that is fully cleaned before and after each use.
To ensure minimal contact with the virus, running in open spaces or working out at home is advisable, however some gyms do remain open across Ireland.
Attendees should take extra precautions while working out in the gym due to the confined nature of the spaces - especially gym classes that use shared equipment and may feature skin-to-skin contact.
Ensure that you use hand sanitiser while entering and leaving the gym and thoroughly clean all shared equipment throughout your workout.
Always follow the safety guidelines in place in your particular gym, but where possible, work out at home or in an open space.
You can familiarise yourself with the HSE's guidelines on the Coronavirus here.