A TD is reminding the public that coughing into the faces of others or spitting at them is an offence.
Fianna Fáil's James Lawless has said that people need to be reminded that it is a serious offence to cause another person to believe that they have become infected with a disease.
Mr Lawless, who is a barrister, said he has been made aware of teenagers and young people deliberately coughing into the faces of other people and spitting at them in an effort to intimidate and frighten them.
The 'corona challenge' sees young people film themselves coughing into people's faces and posting a video of the incident on TikTok.
"This really is too serious to be explained away with a ‘boys will be boys’ attitude," said Mr Lawless
"People are desperately frightened of these thugs who are laughing and jeering about having COVID-19 while coughing directly into people’s faces – it’s disgusting.
“There are grounds for this in the statute books. Under section six of the non-fatal offences against the person act 1997 it is an offence to spray, pour or put onto a person blood or any fluid or substance resembling blood, leading a person to believe that they have become infected with disease as a result. Section one of the act makes specific reference to contaminated fluid and section two covers the intentional or reckless application of force in liquid form."
Mr Lawless has urged parents to ensure their children behave properly at this time.
“In the midst of this crisis it’s unfortunate that we would even need to remind young people that by carrying out these reprehensible acts they could actually be convicted of a very serious crime. It's time for parents to step up, they need to make sure their children are aware of the consequences of their actions."