The latest Government advice to prevent the spread of Covid-19 urges everyone to stay local, within your county or 20km from your home if crossing county boundaries, whenever possible.
Phase 2 of the Government’s roadmap for reopening society and business is in effect as of Monday, June 8th. During Phase 2, you can leave your home for a wider range of reasons. You can also meet in small groups outdoors and indoors but social distancing should be maintained at all times.
You are advised to:
- wash your hands well and often
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing, and discard used tissue safely
- distance yourself at least 2 metres away from other people, especially those who might be unwell
- limit your contact with others when out and about
- keep your close contacts to a small number of people
- limit the amount of time you spend in direct contact with other people
- avoid crowded areas. If an area looks busy, go somewhere else or return at a quieter time
- wear a face covering in situations where social distancing is not possible, for example shops and busy public transport, or if you are meeting someone who is vulnerable to the virus, for example people who are cocooning. Wearing cloth face coverings may help prevent people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others. Guidance on safe use of face coverings is available here
- keep a log of all of your contacts throughout the day.
Know the symptoms of COVID-19:
- a fever (high temperature – 38 degrees Celsius or above)
- a cough – this can be any kind of cough, not just dry
- shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you have symptoms, self-isolate and contact your GP.
Please visit the following links to get the most up to date information from official sources:
Family Carers Ireland has produced an Emergency Care Scheme in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please click here to find out more.
For a guide to Covid-19 social welfare supports for family carers including a list of FAQs, please click here.
Advice for Those Cocooning
As part of the easing of restrictions, the public health advice for those who have been cocooning has been updated. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has updated their guidance, and this is available online to support those who are cocooning, their families and carers.
It is not possible to eliminate all risk so everyone should exercise their own judgement regarding the extent to which the cocooning guidance applies to them.
- all non-essential surgery, health procedures and other non-essential health services are postponed.
- all visits to hospitals, residential healthcare centres, other residential settings or prisons are stopped with specific exemptions on compassionate grounds.
- pharmacists are allowed by law to dispense medicines outside the dates spelled out in prescriptions according to their own professional judgement.
Summer Provision 2020
On 15 June, the Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD, the Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath announced Summer Provision 2020 for children with special needs and students in DEIS schools.
Summer Provision 2020 will involve three strands:
‘Reshaping Disability Services From 2020 and beyond’ outlines and provides guidance to the HSE Disability Services plans for the reshaping of service delivery following the recent disruption to services due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to read the document.
A ‘Framework for the Resumption of Adult Disability Day Services’ can be found here.
Long Term Residential Care Measures
A phased introduction of visiting in nursing homes and residential care facilities in line with social distancing guidelines will start from 15 June.
Contact your nursing home or residential care facility for details ahead of making any visits.
You should not visit a nursing home or residential care facility if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 infection or are feeling unwell. You should not visit if you have been told you are COVID-19 contact.
The latest guidance on visitations to residential care facilities can be found here.
For guidance on cocooning to protect people over 70 years and those extremely medically vulnerable from Covid-19, please click here. Note advice for Family Carers (section 11). You can also learn about cocooning by watching the HSE video here.
Also, Guidance for Health and Social Care Workers who visit homes can be found here. Please note that while this is not aimed at family carers, a lot of the advice is very relevant.
An FAQ document for people with disabilities and family carers (prepared jointly by the HSE, Family Carers Ireland and Inclusion Ireland) can be found here.