Coronavirus hygiene advice

Updated 16th March 2020

Ireland is now in the COVID-19 (coronavirus) delay phase. More infections are likely and there is a moderate to high chance of clusters of infection, as has been seen elsewhere in EU.


During the delay phase, it is as important as ever to maintain hand hygiene.  Hand hygiene is a simple and very effective method of helping to prevent the spread of healthcare associated infection.


  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol based hand wash.
  2. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the used tissue into a closed bin, and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your flexed elbow. Avoid touching your eyes & mouth.
  3. Avoid close contact with anyone who you know has cold or flu symptoms.

Handwashing Technique

Social distancing is important to help slow the spread of coronavirus. It does this by minimising contact between potentially infected individuals and healthy individuals.

Social distancing is keeping a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people. Do not shake hands or make close contact if possible.

In summary:


  • 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;
  • Avoid close contact with people - keep a distance of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and others;
  • Avoid crowded places, especially indoors;
  • Follow the travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs;
  • Stay at home if you are sick to help stop the spread of whatever infection you may have.


  • 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;
  • Do not shake hands.