Written answers

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Paul McAuliffe (Dublin North West, Fianna Fail)
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645. To ask the Minister for Health when he expects the final advice on social distancing and the 2 m rule to be issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11217/20]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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While the evidence relating to the SARS-CoV-2 virus is evolving, it is clear now that the risks of transmission of any respiratory pathogens such as the type that causes Covid-19 are lessened when greater distance is maintained between people. The current advice is that you should follow social distancing guidance everywhere outside the home, including keeping a physical distance of 2 metres apart. It is also recommended that face coverings be worn in situations where social distancing is difficult to maintain, such as shops, and on public transport, or when meeting someone who is vulnerable to the virus, for example people who are cocooning. The recommendation applies to those people aged over 13 who can tolerate them.

This advice is kept under review by the National Public Health Emergency Team on a continuing basis. Arising from their meeting of 4 June, 2020, the National Public Health Emergency Team has requested that the Health Protection Surveillance Centre develop guidance on the application of existing social distancing requirements in specific, defined and controlled environments in the hospitality industry during periods of low incidence of the disease. This guidance will then be considered by the National Public Health Emergency Team on completion.

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