New regulations on face masks come into force in Ireland from today.
Face coverings will be mandatory in shops and shopping centres across the country as well as other indoor settings like hairdressers, cinemas and museums. Masks are already required on public transport.
While garda enforcement and prosecution will be considered as a last resort, those who do not wear a face covering or mask face a maximum fine of €2,500 and up to six months’ imprisonment.
Wearing a cloth face covering is also recommended in situations where it is difficult to practice social distancing.
Wearing of cloth face coverings may help prevent people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others.
When you wear one, you should still do the important things necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
* washing your hands properly and often
* covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
* not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
* social distancing (keeping at least 2 metres away from other people)
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 special needs and who may feel upset or very uncomfortable wearing the face covering
A cloth face covering should cover the nose and go under the chin and:
*fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
* be secured with ties or ear loops
* include at least 2 layers of fabric
* allow for breathing without restriction