Face coverings will be mandatory in shops and shopping centres across the country from tomorrow.
Phase four was originally meant to go ahead tomorrow, but this has been postponed and will be examined again on 31 August. This phase would have seen pubs, bars, hotel bars and casinos reopen. It also would have deemed gatherings of up to 100 people indoors and 500 outdoors permissible.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “From tomorrow face coverings will be mandatory in retail and other indoor settings like hairdressers, cinemas and museums.
“We know that most people are already wearing face coverings and we hope to see even greater uptake over the coming days.
“Time and again people have shown their willingness to follow public health guidance in the interest of protecting each other from this disease.
“Wearing a face covering is just one more way in which people can demonstrate their solidarity with one another as we seek to suppress the spread of COVID-19.”
According to the HSE, wearing a face-covering reduces the spread of coronavirus in the community. It helps to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets from people infected with coronavirus. This helps to stop people who are not aware they have the virus from spreading.
Face coverings can be bought or made at home using items such as scarfs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels. Other types of face coverings include visors or face shields – these are usually made from plastic.
The HSE advises that even if you are wearing a face covering, you should still do the important things necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
– washing your hands properly and often
– covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
– not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
– social distancing (keeping at least 2 metres away from other people)
Face coverings are not recommended for children under the age of 13. This is because young children may not follow the advice about wearing a mask correctly. They may also not understand the importance of avoiding touching it.
However, children under 13 should wear a mask if their doctor or healthcare worker advises this. For example, some children may be advised to do this when attending a hospital clinic.
Face coverings are also not recommended for anyone who:
– has trouble breathing
– is unconscious or incapacitated
– is unable to remove it without help
– has special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the face-covering
The HSE also says: “Do not criticise or judge people who are not able to wear a face covering.”Tags: