There is no vaccine for coronavirus.
To protect yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19), think about how the virus is spread.
Coronavirus is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. To infect you, it has to get from an infected person's nose or mouth into your eyes, nose or mouth. This can be direct or indirect (on hands, objects, surfaces).
Keep this in mind. It will help you remember all the things you need to do to protect yourself and others from the virus.
Be responsible, be safe
Try and limit the number of people you meet with outside of your home and the time you spend with them.
- wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and other indoor settings - this is the law, you may be fined or refused entry if you don't wear one
- work from home if possible - if you cannot work from home, keep 2 metres apart from other people
- avoid crowded places as much as possible - leave a location if social distancing becomes difficult
- avoid public transport if possible - walk or cycle instead, if you can
- avoid places where you can't keep 2 metres apart from other people, where possible
- wear a face covering when visiting people aged 70 or over, or other vulnerable people - be sure to practice social distancing for their safety
- avoid sharing vehicles with people you don't live with - wear a face covering if you do
- meet a limited number of people indoors or outdoors for social gatherings, but keep at least 2 metres apart - read more information about having visitors and social gatherings
- attend medical appointments, collect medicine or other health products
- exercise outdoors or indoors in gyms and sports clubs while following public health advice
- visit outdoor spaces, playgrounds and tourism sites, where you can keep at least 2 metres apart from other people
But extra restrictions are in place if you live in Dublin. This is because of the spread of the virus in that county.
Do not ignore or delay seeking medical treatment for abnormal signs or symptoms that you may be experiencing. Get medical help if you need it.
People at higher risk from coronavirus
People at higher risk from coronavirus should take extra care to protect themselves
Social distancing is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals.
- keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people
- avoid communal sleeping areas
- avoid any crowded places
- not shake hands or make close contact with other people, if possible
There is very little risk if you are just passing someone. But try to keep a distance of 2 metres as much as possible.
If you are in a public place where it is difficult to keep 2 metres away from others, you should wear a face covering.
Social distancing at work
Follow social distancing advice everywhere outside the home. This includes your workplace.
If you are going back to your workplace, read information about returning to work safely.
- worried about how your workplace is responding to social distancing or other measures
- an employer and want advice on coronavirus prevention measures in the workplace
There is separate advice about:
- self-isolating if you have symptoms of coronavirus
- taking extra care if you're at higher risk from coronavirus
- cocooning for people who are at very high risk (extremely vulnerable)
- what to do if you live with someone who has coronavirus symptoms
- what to do if you are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus
- travel and coronavirus - from gov.ie
Good hygiene and hand washing
Good hygiene and washing your hands properly and often will help to stop the spread of coronavirus. Follow this advice as strictly as possible and encourage others to do this too.
Wash your hands properly and often.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
Do not share objects that touch your mouth – for example, bottles, cups.
When you should wash your hands
You should wash your hands:
- after coughing or sneezing
- before and after eating
- before and after preparing food
- if you were in contact with someone who has a fever or respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing)
- before and after being on public transport, if you must use it
- before and after being in a crowd (especially an indoor crowd)
- when you arrive and leave buildings including your home or anyone else's home
- if you have handled animals or animal waste
- before having a cigarette or vaping
- even if your hands are not visibly dirty
- after toilet use
Keep your hands in good condition. Moisturise them often. Any basic product that is not perfumed or coloured is OK.
Use the COVID Tracker app
COVID Tracker is a free and easy-to-use mobile phone app that can:
- alert you if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus
- advise you on what to do to protect yourself and others
- alert other app users that you were in close contact with, if you test positive for coronavirus
The app is part of our contact tracing operation. Contact tracing is vital to slowing the spread of the virus. The more people that download and use the app, the more it will help contact tracing.
Using the app, along with following the public health advice on this page, can help us all stay safe when we meet up, socialise, work or travel.
Visitors and social gatherings
It’s always safer to meet fewer people, less often, for less time. If we do this, we have a better chance of stopping the spread of coronavirus. Apart from the people you live with, limit the number of people you meet and the time you spend with them.
Your risk of getting coronavirus increases as you meet and engage with more people. This is why proper hand washing, respiratory hygiene and social distancing are more important than ever. In both indoor and outdoor settings, keep 2 metres apart from people you do not live with.
Visits to your home or garden
People from no more than 3 households including your own should meet at any one time with a maximum of 6 people.
Gatherings and events away from the home
A maximum of 6 people can meet indoors and 15 people outdoors from up to 3 households including your own.
Staying safe when you meet people
If you cannot keep 2 metres apart from people you don't live with, everyone should wear a face covering.
Wear a face covering when visiting people aged 70 or over, or other people at higher risk from coronavirus.
Clean your hands properly and regularly and ask visitors to your home to clean their hands when they arrive. After visitors leave, clean surfaces they have been in contact with. Use your usual household cleaning agents and detergents.
Do not wear disposable gloves instead of washing your hands. The virus gets on them in the same way it gets on your hands. Also, your hands can get contaminated when you take them off.
When not to meet others
You should not meet someone else if you:
Check with people before you meet them to make sure they are symptom-free and feeling well.