Government releases video showing how to make face coverings at home
"We are not recommending people wear surgical masks as that might lead to a shortage for healthcare masks."
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has advised the public to wear face coverings when using public transport or in retail stores.
Speaking at Government Buildings in Friday, Varadkar said that part of the guidance for Phase One would be for members of the public to use face coverings when using busy public transport or in an enclosed indoor public area from Monday.
He said the measure was advisory and not a legal requirement while Minister for Health Simon Harris said it was important not to judge people who do not wear face coverings, as it may be due to allergies or other reasons.
"We are not recommending people wear surgical masks as that might lead to a shortage for healthcare masks," Varadkar said.
"That's why we're using the term covering in preference to masks."
Children under the age of 13 are not advised to wear face coverings.
He said the public must also continue to follow public health and hygiene advice of:
- Washing hands regularly.
- Maintaining 2 metre physical distance whenever possible.
- Sneezing or coughing into your elbow or tissue.
- Staying home and isolating if sick.
The government also released a video showing how to create your own cloth face covering at home.
As part of the gradual easing of restrictions in Phase 1, members of the public are being advised to use a face covering as an additional hygiene measure, when using busy public transport or when in enclosed indoor public areas such as retail outlets. https://t.co/nL3opCT5Ye pic.twitter.com/dbghKtA01b
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Speaking at the press conference, Varadkar said he hoped Ireland could continue easing restrictions every three weeks but said this was not guaranteed to happen.
"In three weeks’ time, I fervently hope to be here to announce that we will move to Phase Two," Varadkar said.
"A further relaxation of restrictions. This depends on the progress we make between now and then. Nothing is guaranteed.
"The only thing that is inevitable is the spread of the virus unless we push it back every day."