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If you're at very high risk (extremely vulnerable) from COVID-19 (coronavirus), stay at home as much as possible. You are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 if you catch it.

Staying at home as much as possible is sometimes called 'cocooning'.

Do not have visitors to your home unless it is essential for your care. If you live alone or need support, you can form a support bubble with another household.

If you don't know if you are in a very high risk group, talk to your GP or doctor. If your child has a pre-existing health condition, talk to your GP about how best to protect them. Read a list of people who are very high risk from COVID-19.

If you are not able to work from home, talk to your employer.

Restrictions are still in place to protect us from COVID-19.
Visit gov.ie to read about restrictions in place over Christmas

Avoid higher risk situations

Avoid physical contact with other people.

Certain activities put you at greater risk of catching COVID-19, including:

  • attending events or meeting with people from different households
  • crowded areas where you can't keep 2 metres away from other people - especially indoors

Use your best judgement and take extra care to protect yourself.

How to protect yourself

Do

Stay at home as much as possible.

Do not have visitors to your home or garden, except for essential reasons, such as someone who is caring for you.

Be careful when you meet with people from other households.

Wear a face covering when you meet with anyone indoors - ask them to wear one also if they cannot keep a 2 metre distance.

If you have a garden or balcony, spend time outside for fresh air when possible.

Keep in touch with family and friends over the phone or online if you can.

Keep yourself mobile by getting up and moving as much as possible.

Take care when exercising outdoors - keep a 2 metre distance between you and other people.

Get community support if you need it.

Use the phone if you need to contact your GP or other services.

Don't

Do not travel outside your county, unless it is for work, education or other essential reasons, such as hospital appointments.

Do not attend gatherings where you can't keep a 2 metre distance between you and other people.

Do not have any contact with anyone who is unwell, especially if they have symptoms of COVID-19.

Avoid using public transport, if possible.

Phone your GP if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.

The risk of catching COVID-19 is low if you go for a walk or a drive and you keep away from other people.

Going for a walk

If you go for a walk, choose a quiet time and:

  • keep a distance of 2 metres between you and other people
  • avoid other people as much as possible
  • avoid touching surfaces
  • avoid shaking hands with other people
  • wash your hands when you get back home

Going for a drive

If you go for a drive:

  • go alone, with someone you live with or someone who is in your support bubble
  • keep a distance of 2 metres between you and other people when out
  • wash your hands when you get back home

You may need to share a car with someone outside of your household for essential reasons. If you do, you should both wear face coverings and keep as much distance as possible.

Shopping

Ask friends or family to get any shopping or medicine you need. It can be hard to keep a 2 metre distance between you and other people in shops. Have any deliveries left outside your door. If the person making the delivery stands back, you can speak with them with very little risk.

If you do go shopping:

Read more advice about shopping safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Medicines and prescriptions

Changes have been made to make it easier to get medicines and prescriptions during COVID-19.

Restaurants

If you choose to go to a restaurant, consider the risk before you go.

The restaurant you choose should:

  • be large enough to accommodate 2 metre distancing between tables
  • have safe entry and exit that allows you to keep 2 metres away from others
  • follow public health guidance around strict hygiene measures

To help minimise your risk:

  • keep your visit as short as possible
  • tell the service provider that you are cocooning, if you wish
  • wear a face covering when you are away from your table
  • wash your hands when you get back home

Public transport

Avoid using public transport, if possible.

If you need to, for essential reasons:

  • go at off-peak times, if possible
  • wear a face covering - this is the law
  • stay 2 metres away from other people
  • wash your hands when you get back home

Using services where social distancing is not possible

There are services where keeping 2 metres apart from the service provider is not practical, for example getting a hair cut. It is up to you to assess the risk before using these services.

To minimise your risk:

  • tell the service provider that you are cocooning when making an appointment
  • limit your number of visits to these places
  • keep appointments as short as possible
  • ask for a time and day when the business has as few other customers as possible
  • make sure the business follows public health guidance around hygiene and understands your needs
  • wear a face covering
  • wash your hands when you get back home

Travel in Ireland

Ireland is under level 3 restrictions. Do not travel outside your county unless it is for work, education or other essential reasons, such as hospital appointments.

From 18 December, you can travel anywhere in Ireland.

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