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How coronavirus is spread

Last updated: 28 July 2020 at 12.30pm

Extra restrictions are in place for Kildare, Laois and Offaly.
Follow this advice if you live in one of those counties.

You can get the virus if you come into close contact with someone who has the virus. It is spread through droplets that come from your nose and mouth. For example, from someone who is talking loud, singing, shouting, coughing or sneezing.

You can also get the virus from surfaces, for example, when someone who has the virus sneezes. Droplets containing the virus can fall onto surfaces around them. If you touch that surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you could become infected too.

Wearing a face covering can protect you. But you should still do the important things necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

These include:

The virus can spread easily in crowded environments. Avoid crowded places as much as possible. Leave if a location becomes overcrowded and keeping 2 metres apart from other people becomes difficult.

Read guidance on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus.

How long the virus can survive on surfaces

Common household disinfectants will kill the virus on surfaces. Clean the surface first and then use a disinfectant.

Coronavirus can survive for:

  • up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel
  • less than 4 hours on copper
  • less than 24 hours on cardboard

Learn how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus.

Pets and coronavirus

There is no evidence that pets such as cats and dogs can spread coronavirus to humans.

It is best to protect yourself by properly cleaning your hands often when in contact with pets.

Read advice on how to wash your hands properly.

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Cloth face coverings, medical masks and disposable gloves

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