The public is being advised to use face coverings as part of Phase 1 of the gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictions, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced today.
Face coverings will be an additional hygiene measure for people using busy public transport or when in enclosed indoor public areas such as retail outlets.
But they will not be mandatory, for a number of reasons.
Speaking at today’s Phase One announcement, the Taoiseach said that masks will not be a legal requirement as “The science around it indicates that it may be beneficial but it’s certainly no substitute for all of the other things, like washing your hands, social distancing and respiratory etiquette.
“It’s an additional hygiene measure and not a substitute for social distancing and other forms of hygiene.
He added: “There are some people who have allergies to face coverings and face masks and we have to bear that in mind.”
The government is releasing information and videos on how to make face coverings at home and when and how to use them, and how not to use them. A full guide is available on www.gov.ie – Guidance on safe use of face coverings
As part of the gradual easing of restrictions in Phase 1, members of the public are being advised to use a face covering as an additional hygiene measure, when using busy public transport or when in enclosed indoor public areas such as retail outlets. https://t.co/nL3opCT5Ye pic.twitter.com/dbghKtA01b
— MerrionStreet.ie #StayAtHome (@merrionstreet) May 15, 2020
The Taoiseach stated that people are being advised to source coverings, and not masks, to avoid any potential shortage in PPE for healthcare workers.
“When it comes to surgical respiratory masks, while there is no shortage at the moment, if millions using them every day there is a risk that is might lead to a shortage for healthcare workers,” he said.