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Staying Safe from Coronavirus as Lockdown is Eased

As the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announces an acceleration of the easing of the Coronavirus lockdown in the first week of June, we thought that it would be helpful to take a look at the latest guidance on how we can continue to stay safe as we return to a more interdependent life in Cork. Read this article to get top tips on staying safe from coronavirus as the lockdown is eased in Irleand.


Phase Two of the Lockdown

As Ireland moves into phase two of the easing of lockdown, the prime minister made a number of announcements that have a significant impact on our daily lives here in Cork. The Taoiseach said in a speech on Friday 6th June that:

  • People can travel anywhere within our own county or up to 20km from home.
  • All shops can reopen from Monday 8th
  • The Health minister Simon Harris announced that from next week children can visit playgrounds.

During the speech, Health minister Simon Harris reminded people of the need to continue to take care –

“In the next stage we become more interdependent and, as we take these next steps, we take care. We know the toll this has taken so far. Today we begin to look forward once again”.


Shopping Safely

During the lockdown, going shopping has been the time of greatest risk of coming into contact with Coronavirus for many of us. Steps that we can take to ensure we are staying safe from coronavirus as we are shopping include:

  • Wherever possible, try to limit shopping trips to one per week.
  • Use provided sanitiser to clean your hands and trolley or basket.
  • As we covered in our recent article, wearing face coverings is recommended for most people over 13 years old.
  • As always, if you cough or sneeze remember to cover your mouth thoroughly with a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Always follow social distancing guidelines by staying at least 2 metres away from others.
  • Pay by card wherever possible and avoid cash.
  • After shopping wash your hands thoroughly, both before and after putting away the shopping.


Going to Work Safely in Cork

As we are due to move into phases two and three of the lockdown during June, more of us will be returning to work in coming weeks. If you are returning to work, it’s really important to take some precautions.

As advised by the HSE –

Do not return to work if you have any coronavirus symptoms, you are self-isolating or if you have not spoken to your employer before returning to your workplace.

How can you protect yourself in the workplace?

Some guidelines that can help you and co-workers to return to work safely include:

  • Travel to work alone.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, before starting, during work and before leaving at the end of your shift.
  • Diligently follow the measures that your employer puts in place to maintain social distancing.
  • Always follow the hygiene advice when coughing and sneezing.
  • Always use your own pens, stationery and avoid sharing any equipment unless absolutely necessary.


What should you avoid doing in the workplace?

To protect yourself and others at work:

  • Do not touch your eyes, mouth or nose.
  • Do not share objects that touch your mouth, such as cups, bottles or cigarettes.
  • Do not shake hands.
  • Do not have face-to-face meetings and avoid any business trips unless absolutely necessary. Use phone or videoconferencing wherever possible.


What should you do if you show coronavirus symptoms at work?

If you begin to show any coronavirus symptoms at all, you should tell your supervisor immediately. Your employer will have processes in place.

On showing symptoms, you should:

  • Isolate yourself away from other co-workers.
  • Wear a face covering (if available)
  • Keep to social distancing and stay at least 2 metres from others.
  • Phone your GP to arrange a coronavirus test.
  • Go home as soon as it’s safe to and self-isolate.
  • Avoid using public transport of any kind.


Further advice for workers and employers

The Health and Safety Authority – Workplace Contact Unit
Phone: 1890 289 389

Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Business Support
Phone: 01 631 2002

Workplace Relations Commission (WRC)
Phone: 059 9178 990

National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)
Phone: 01 807 3800

Phone: 1850 241850
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