Just A Friendly Reminder On How To Actually Socially Distance Yourself This Weekend

Social distancing includes several measures that can slow down the spread of COVID-19 to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

You might be tempted to catch up with friends, visit the beach or even head down the country but are we allowed?

To stop the spread of coronavirus, health officials have instructed the public to practice social distancing.

But, what does this mean?

In essence, this means we should all be staying at home, avoiding crowds and refraining from touching one another.

But does that mean we can go for a run? Pick up some groceries? Hold our kids?

We're here to debunk that for you. 

Whatever it is you get up to this weekend, just remember:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Maintain a two-metre distance from others where possible
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
  • Stay at home and self-isolate if you are sick

Can I exercise?

Yes – outdoors (as long as it's within your 5km) or at home. You can run/walk/exercise outside, but try to remain at least two metres from everyone you meet. 

Distance is key and because of this, gyms aren't a good idea. At home, you can instead opt for YouTube gym workout videos. 

Can I use public transport?

If you can avoid it, you should. Packing into a crowded bus train or LUAS can heighten your risk of infection.

If you need to use public transportation, do so with the use of anti-bacterial wipes, gloves and/or masks and wash your hands as soon and as often as you can. 

Can we have visitors over/can we visit others?

Not right now, if at all possible. Video chats are the best way forward for now. Make use of WhatsApp calls, Zoom video hangouts or the Houseparty app, for now, to keep up socialising whilst social distancing.  

However, you can meet friends and family within 5km outdoors in groups of four or less.

Does this mean I can't touch my children?

Health officials are looking for us to maintain a social distancing level of about 80%. The reason it's not 100% is that some direct contact is unavoidable, such as parents with toddlers. 

Under most circumstances, you don't need to keep six feet of distance from your child when you are both at home. But if possible, limit excessive physical contact.

Can I go to the supermarket?

Yes, this is one of the places you can go –– just be strategic about it. Try and go when fewer people will be there. 

Opt to go for local, independent shops when possible – they need your help in times like this, and they're far less likely to have huge crowds. 

And finally, make sure to thoroughly wash fruits and veggies after you buy them, and wash your hands after touching boxes and before eating.

CAN I GO TO THE BEACH?

Under Phase One, outdoor amenities and as tourism sites including beaches and mountain walks have been reopened to the public. But as always, be strategic about it. Try and go when fewer people will be there and adhere to social distancing. 

Can I order takeaway?

Yes! There's no evidence that the virus can live in food, so whatever you eat should be safe. However, wiping down the takeaway containers might be a good idea.

Ordering from local businesses will also help keep the economy afloat. Here's a list of every takeaway in Ireland offering a delivery service or collection. 

Can I go to the doctor or dentist?

Not unless you have an urgent appointment or are seeking help due to coronavirus symptoms.

It's best to cancel any appointments or procedures that aren't critical, but if you do have a critical appointment, ask your provider about appointments over the phone that don't require you to come into an office.

If you think you're experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, call your GP before showing up so you don't put yourself and others at a higher risk of infection.

Can I go on a date?

Yes! As long as it's outdoors, the person is within your 5km radius and you stay at least 2 metres apart. We suggest sticking to the world of virtual date for now. You can still message people/use apps during this time, but it's best to wait until we're allowed to be out in public again to meet new people in person

Can I go to HARDWARE STORES?

Yes, as part of the government's phase one plane, hardware stores are now one of the few places you can go –– just be strategic about it. But as you've seen from the news, everyone and their mother is flooding to their local hardware stores. If you must, try and go when fewer people will be there. Opt to go for local, independent shops when possible – they need your help in times like this, and they're far less likely to have huge crowds.

Should I wear a face mask in public?

There's no real need. Masks keep sick people from effecting others but will not protect a healthy person from coming into contact with germs. 

Sick people should stay home and avoid in-person contact with others until they've recovered. 

Do I need to practice social distancing if I’m symptom-free?

Yes.

As per experts, it’s responsible to err on the side of greater caution. 

Also, COVID-19 takes a few days to show symptoms. So, you may have it (and be spreading it) without even knowing. 

How long will this last?

The first phase of Ireland's roadmap to recovery began this week, Monday, May 18 and saw some safety restrictions being lifted in the process. Should the first phase go according to plan (meaning that we do not see an increase in the rate of infection), Phase Two will begin on 8 June. This will allow visits to other households, as well as the opening of more small retail outlets. More information can be found on the government's website.

If you stay indoors now and adhere to social distance, things won't be bad for long –– so, deal with things now and we can have a great summer. 

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