Government launches new campaign on wearing face coverings

The Government has launched a new campaign on face coverings, urging people to use them where social distancing is not possible.
Government launches new campaign on wearing face coverings

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris, and Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority (NTA) have today launched a campaign on face coverings. Picture: Keith Arkins
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris, and Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority (NTA) have today launched a campaign on face coverings. Picture: Keith Arkins

The Government has launched a new campaign on face coverings, urging people to use them where social distancing is not possible.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris, Transport Minister Shane Ross and Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority, launched the campaign this morning.

The Government said that face coverings “are recommended in situations where social distancing is not possible” like in shops or on busy public transport.

The wearing of face coverings is recommended in circumstances such as:

  • when staying 2 metres apart from people is difficult - for example, in shops, shopping centres or public transport
  • by people visiting the homes of those who are cocooning
  • by people who are being visited in their homes by those who are cocooning

The campaign is a recommendation of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

People wearing face coverings are still advised to do the important things necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

This includes social distancing, washing hands properly and often, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough and sneeze and not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

The Government added that cloth face coverings are not suitable for children under the age of 13 and anyone who:

  • has trouble breathing
  • is unconscious or incapacitated
  • is unable to remove it without help
  • has a disability and who may feel upset or uncomfortable wearing the face covering.

“Our message is simple; if you are in situations where social distancing is difficult, such as on public transport or in shops, please wear a face covering”, said the Taoiseach.

“It’s also a good idea to wear one when you are visiting someone who is vulnerable to the virus.

“In this way, we can help to reduce the spread of the virus, which is more important than ever as our country continues to reopen.”

Simon Harris added: “Wearing a face covering will help you to protect those around you. It is not a magic shield, but it is an additional measure aimed at stopping the spread of this virus.

“If you cannot keep a 2 metre distance, we recommend you use face coverings. We are strongly encouraging people on public transport to use them, in shops and supermarkets.

“And if you are visiting a loved one who is over 70 or someone who has a medical condition, we are asking you to wear a face covering and help shield and protect the most vulnerable.”

The NTA welcomed the campaign and CEO Anne Graham said “we would join with the Taoiseach and Ministers Ross and Harris in urging people to wear face coverings while on a bus, tram, train or taxi.

“Doing so will increase protection for other customers and for public transport workers.”

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