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Restricted movements (stay at home)

Restricting your movements means staying at home as much as possible to avoid contact with other people. This is sometimes called quarantine. It helps to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

When you should restrict your movements

Restrict your movements for 14 days if you:

You should restrict your movements because there is a chance you may have COVID-19. You can spread the virus even if you do not have symptoms. By following this advice, you can keep other people safe.

How to restrict your movements

Avoid social situations and contact with other people as much as you can. Stay at home or in your accommodation as much as possible.

You can still go outside to exercise by yourself as long as you keep 2 metres away from other people.


Do not go to work, unless you work on your own and can completely avoid other people. If you are an essential worker and do not have any symptoms, talk to your employer.

Do not go to school or college.

Do not use public transport.

Do not have visitors at your home.

Do not visit others, even if you usually care for them.

Do not go to the shops or pharmacy unless it's absolutely necessary - where possible, order your groceries online or have some family or friends drop them off.

Do not drop off or collect your children from school unless it's absolutely necessary. Ask family or friends to do this for you. If you have to go, avoid other people and remain in your car.

Do not go to gatherings such as weddings or funerals - read more about bereavement and grief during COVID-19.

Do not meet face-to-face with older people, anyone with a long-term medical condition or pregnant women.

When you can stop restricting your movements

If you're a close contact of a person that tested positive for COVID-19 you should restrict your movements for 14 days. Do this from the last date you were in contact with that person. If you’re not sure when that was, restrict your movements until the date you were told by contact tracing.

You should continue to restrict your movements even if your test comes back negative. This is because it can take up to 14 days for the virus to show up in your system after you have been exposed to it.

If you are caring for someone who cannot self-isolate, you and the rest of the household should restrict your movements for 17 days.

Read about the difference between self-isolating and restricted movements.

If you live with someone who is restricting their movements

If you live with someone who is restricting their movements, you do not need to restrict your movements as long as they have no symptoms.

If you live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19

Restrict your movements, even if you feel well.

The person who has symptoms should behave as if they have COVID-19 and:

The person you live with may be referred for a test for COVID-19. If their test is positive you will become a close contact and should restrict your movements.

If the virus is not detected (negative) in their test, you no longer need to restrict your movements. Continue to follow the advice to protect yourself and others.

If you live with someone waiting for test results

Read advice on what to do if you live with someone who is waiting on test results.

Travel to Ireland

Travelling to Ireland from Brazil, Great Britain or South Africa

There is new, stricter advice in place if you arrived into Ireland from Brazil, Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) or South Africa. This is because of the spread of a new strain of COVID-19 which is active in those countries.

Find out what you should do if you arrive into Ireland from Brazil, Great Britain or South Africa

Travelling into Ireland from any other country

Restrict your movements for 14 days if you arrive in Ireland from another country.

This means staying at home or in your accommodation. You should not go to gatherings such as parties, weddings or funerals.

People travelling from green regions, or from Northern Ireland, do not need to restrict movements.

Read travel advice from the Government.

Related topics

Close contacts and casual contacts

Contact tracing

Protecting your child from COVID-19

Last updated: 20 January 2021 at 11.47pm

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