It has now been recommended by the government of Ireland to wear face masks, face coverings or face cloth coverings in certain situations. The wearing of face masks or face coverings is now recommended in certain situations where social or physical distancing is difficult to practice. Such situations include in shops, enclosed spaces with people or on public transport, as per Government guidelines released on 15th of May 2020.
While wearing a face mask or face covering you must still do the things necessary to prevent spreading the virus. Personal hygiene is still the most important thing, it is so important to wash your hand or in cases where hand washing is not possible, using an alcohol based hand sanitiser to disinfect hands. Washing your hands properly and often is of utmost importance. You should not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean. Furthermore social distancing should be practiced (keeping at least 2 metres away from other people).
Wearing a face mask, face covering or cloth face covering in public may reduce the spread of the virus in the community. Face masks, face coverings or cloth face coverings may help to stop people who are not aware they have the virus from spreading it. Wearing a face mask or face covering is recommended in situations where social distancing of 2 metres is difficult to practice for example in shops, on public transport, in shopping centres or in confined spaces with other people.
- clean your hands properly with an alcohol based hand rub before you put it on
- practice using it so you are comfortable putting it on and taking it off
- cover your mouth and nose with it, make sure there are no gaps between face and the mask
- tie it securely
- practice regular hand washing or use a alcohol based hand santiser
- carry unused masks in a sealable clean waterproof bag(for example, a ziplock bag)
- for reusable face masks carry a second similar type bag to put used masks in
- if the mask becomes contaminated in anyway remove immediately
- replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
- touch a mask or face covering while wearing it - if you do, clean your hands properly
- use a damp or wet medical mask or reuse a medical mask
- share masks
- do not lower your mask to speak, eat and smoke or vape - if you need to uncover your nose or mouth take the mask off and put it in the bag for used masks
- do not discard masks in public places
The World Health Organisation advises to remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; immediately clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, clean hands with an alcohol based hand sanitiser.
Face masks or face coverings should be used in addition to regular hand washing or using an alcohol based hand sanitiser gel and practicing social distancing. As well as covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze and not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.