Healy O'Connor

Face coverings during COVID-19. When and where do I have to wear a face mask in Ireland?

The ongoing worldwide pandemic significantly changed our lives over the past several months. Even though in many countries, COVID-19 was recently in retreat, the second wave of the disease is upon us. That’s why it’s remarkably important to take all precautions and remember to always wear a face mask.

Wearing a face covering in Ireland – What serves as a suitable face covering?

Let’s start from the beginning and remind everyone what counts as an acceptable face covering. Of course, the most popular ones are masks, which are made from some kind of cloth such as cotton or silk. There are also face shields and visors, which are produced from transparent plastic. It is important to remember that face coverings made from fabric should fully cover both nose and the mouth and go under the chin – only then do masks block all areas and fulfill their task correctly. The sides of the fabric should fit closely to the face as well. It is also essential not to touch the face covering while wearing it because it may be contaminated and spread the virus further.

When and where to wear face coverings during Covid-19 in Ireland?

Current law states that wearing a face covering is mandatory in most public spaces in Ireland. That includes places such as:

  • Shops
  • Shopping centres
  • Pharmacies
  • Museums
  • Theatres
  • Cinemas
  • Cinema complexes
  • Libraries
  • Concert halls
  • Hair salons
  • Barbers
  • Nail salons
  • Tattoo and piercing parlors
  • Travel agencies
  • Bookmakers
  • Dry cleaners
  • Laundries

Is wearing mask in Ireland mandatory?

Irish citizens also need to use face coverings during COVID-19 in Ireland on public transport such as buses, trains, trams or taxis. Any person who does not comply with this public health law can face:

  1. A fine of up to €2,500
  2. Up to 6 months imprisonment
  3. Both – fine and imprisonment

At the time of working, wearing a mask or a face covering in Ireland is not mandatory in places like post offices, banks, or credit unions. You also don’t have to do it while you’re visiting your doctor for medical or dental treatment. You need to wear a mask in restaurants and cafes, but only when you’re entering the building or leaving afterward. However, while you eat your meal, you don’t have to have a face covering.

How to Safely Remove a Face Covering?

The correct way of removing your face covering is important as well. Do not touch the front of the mask because it may carry the virus. You need to pull off the face covering by the strings attached to the sides of the material. Disposable models should be thrown into the bin right away. And if you have reusable masks, then you need to wash them in hot water with the addition of detergent.

Who doesn’t have to wear a face covering? COVID-19 in Ireland

There are certain exceptions from the obligation to wear a mask or other face covering. These exceptions, however, refer to specific cases such as people who have impairments or illnesses that would make wearing a face mask injurious to their health.

Face covering and other safety measures

Wearing face coverings during COVID-19 in Ireland is extremely important, but all citizens should also remember about other preventative measures. We now know that coronavirus spreads through sneeze or cough droplets. That’s why it’s vital to cover your mouth and nose with a sleeve or a tissue whenever you do sneeze or cough. It’s also essential to continue social distancing and avoid crowded spaces. Of course, we also need to frequently wash our hands with soap, and if we don’t know if our hands are clean, we should avoid touching our mouth, nose, and eyes.

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