Returning to work safely

Work from home is still the advice for most people.

Do not return to your workplace if you:

Face coverings should be worn in crowded workplaces.

Read about when you can stop self-isolating

Read about COVID-19 test results

Read more about recovering from COVID-19

Before you return to work

Before you return to work you need to:

  • complete a pre-return to work form
  • tell your employer about any circumstances related to COVID-19 they should know about
  • take part in any training your employer provides

Pre-return to work form

You’ll need to complete this form before you return to work. This form is specific to your job and is only available from your employer.

The form is to confirm that you:

  • do not have symptoms of COVID-19
  • are not self-isolating or restricting your movements
  • are not waiting on results of a COVID-19 test
  • have not recently returned from travel abroad

Your employer may ask you to confirm these details at a later date. This could be if you are only in your workplace occasionally or are away from your workplace for a period of time, such as for annual leave.

Protect yourself in the workplace


  • follow any measures put in place by your employer to maintain social distancing

  • wash your hands regularly and properly

  • follow hygiene advice when coughing or sneezing

  • travel to work alone

  • use your own pen for signing in

  • wear a face covering if your workplace is crowded

  • download and use the COVID Tracker app - you'll get an alert you if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19


  • do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose

  • do not share objects that touch your mouth, for example, bottles or cups

  • do not shake hands with anyone

  • do not have face-to-face meetings or go on business trips if possible - use phone or video conferencing instead

You may be worried about how your workplace is responding to COVID-19. If you are, contact the Health and Safety Authority's workplace contact unit. Email or phone 1890 289 389.

If you get symptoms at work

Tell your manager immediately. Your employer will have a process in place. Follow their guidelines and advice.

You will need to:

  • isolate immediately from other staff
  • wear a face covering if one is available
  • keep a distance of least 2 metres from others
  • phone your GP to arrange a test for COVID-19

Go home as soon as it is safe to do so. Self-isolate at home and phone your GP.

Do not use public transport of any kind to go home.

If you cannot go home immediately:

  • remain self-isolating in the building and phone your GP
  • avoid touching people, surfaces and objects
  • cover your mouth and nose with tissues when you cough or sneeze. Bin these tissues in a waste bag

People at higher risk from COVID-19

Work from home if you are at higher risk from COVID-19.

If you cannot work from home, talk to your GP or your employer. Your employer may wish to get occupational health advice. Make sure your employer prioritises social distancing measures for you where possible.

Advice for employers

Employers should follow the Work Safely Protocol.

These guidelines include advice on:

  • preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace
  • steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19
  • what to do if an employee shows symptoms of the virus

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) provides advice for employers and employees on COVID-19 prevention measures in the workplace.

Check-lists and templates from the HSA are available to help employers, business owners and managers prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace.

Contact the HSA by email or phone 1890 289 389.

Advice for healthcare workers

Guidelines and advice for healthcare staff, managers and staff returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic is updated on

Read advice for healthcare workers on staying safe at work

Read safe working guidelines for healthcare managers and healthcare staff returning to work

Water systems

Read the Environmental Health advice for managing water systems in a shutdown

This includes advice for:

  • hotels
  • food premises
  • recreational water facilities

Organisations providing advice to employers and workers

The Health and Safety Authority - Workplace Contact Unit
Phone: 1890 289 389

Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Business Support
Information on government supports for businesses and enterprises affected by COVID-19.
Phone: 01 631 2002

Workplace Relations Commission (WRC)
Phone: 059 9178 990

National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)
Phone: 01 807 3800

Phone: 1800 700 700
Web chat:

Read travel advice from the Government

Last updated: 4 May 2021 at 9.41am