Coronavirus Advice

COVID-19 Symptoms #holdfirm

The advice below is from the Department of Health, and is published on the Government of Ireland website at  This page was updated on 11/01/2021 at 12.23pm.

We are currently in Phase 5 of the government's roadmap for reopening society and business.

Please follow the latest Government advice on Level 5 restrictions.

Everyone should Stay Safe - you are urged to use your own judgement and take personal responsibility for protecting yourself and others.


It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show.  They can be similar to the symptoms of cold and flu.

If you have any common symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), you should self-isolate and phone your GP straight away to get tested for COVID-19.

Common symptoms include:

If you're confused about the differences between symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the cold and flu, the HSE has more information.


If you have symptoms

If you have any of these symptoms, you should behave as if you have the virus and self-isolate. People in your household will need to restrict their movements.

You may also need to be tested for COVID-19. Getting tested for COVID-19 is free.

Find out when you should call your GP to be assessed for a test.




Protect yourself

General advice

To protect yourself:

  • wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty
  • practice good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • maintain physical distancing, that is, leave at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself

The most important action we can take to protect ourselves from COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is regular hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene.

Read a step-by-step guide from the HSE on how to clean your hands.


Face coverings

GMIT Face Covering Policy

Further Information on when to wear face coverings and how to make them is available here.


People over the age of the 70 or extremely medically vulnerable

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.

What you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

If you do not have symptoms

Everyone in Ireland is urged to stay safe.

But you need to restrict your movements further if you:

You need to restrict your movements for at least 14 days. But if the person you live with has had a test and it's negative, you don't need to wait 14 days.

You should still follow the advice for everyone - stay safe.


If you think you have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Visit if you think you have been:

  • in contact with someone confirmed as having COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
  • to a healthcare facility in another country where COVID-19 (Coronavirus) patients are being treated

You will be put in contact with your local Department of Public Health staff who will give you information and advice.

If you develop symptoms avoid contact with people by self-isolating and phone your GP or emergency department.


Services for Deaf Irish Sign Language users

You can access the Interpreting Service for Deaf People here.

See more Irish Sign Language videos about COVID-19 (Coronavirus).


How COVID-19 (Coronavirus) spreads

You can get the virus if you come into close contact with someone who has the virus. It is spread through droplets that come from your nose and mouth. For example, from someone who is talking loud, singing, shouting, coughing or sneezing.

You can also get the virus from surfaces, for example, when someone who has the virus sneezes. Droplets containing the virus can fall onto surfaces around them. If you touch that surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you could become infected too.


How long the virus can survive on surfaces

Common household disinfectants will kill the virus on surfaces. Clean the surface first and then use a disinfectant.

COVID-19 can survive for:

  • up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel
  • less than 4 hours on copper
  • less than 24 hours on cardboard

More information on how COVID-19 spreads is available from the HSE.

Keeping well during the COVID-19 pandemic

Infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 (Coronavirus) can be worrying. This can affect your mental health.

However, there are many things you can do to mind your mental health during times like this.

You can see a lot more supports and help here.

Stay safe guidelines

The Department of Health has developed guidelines to help you measure and maintain distance in your premises.

Public Health Advice Posters

We have developed public health advice posters that are available for you to download and display in a range of settings.

Further Information: 

New Measures in Response to COVID-19 for the General Public

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How COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Spreads

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Protect Yourself from COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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Why is Soap so Effective against COVID-19?

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Cough correctly – do not infect others

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What can people do to protect themselves and others from getting the new coronavirus?

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Social Distancing How Far is 2 Metres

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Self-isolation and COVID-19

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Shopping Safely with Physical Distancing Measures

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