Safe socialising indoors during COVID-19

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Due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus cases at social gatherings in homes, the government has introduced new measures to limit the number of people who can gather in a house at once. We’ve all been looking forward to getting together with friends and family but it’s more important than ever that we all continue to take steps to protect ourselves and others. Here’s all you need to know about socialising safely indoors.

Can I have people in my home?

Yes, but with strict limitations. Level 2 guidance currently applies to every county except Dublin (as of 15 Sept 2020). This means that you can have up to 6 people from no more than 3 households in your home or garden. In Dublin, social visits to your home or garden are limited to no more than 6 people from 1 household. This could include having friends or family over for lunch, bbq or small party.

In general though, it's best to limit the number of people you’re in close contact with in all circumstances. Going to a social event in a home means that you’re at increased risk of catching the virus and spreading it to those you love and within your community.

Read the full Government Plan for Living with COVID-19

What guidance should we follow to stay safe?

  • Make sure that there is enough room to allow for social distancing of 2 metres between each person.
  • Check that there is proper ventilation by keeping windows and doors open so that fresh air can circulate throughout the house.
  • Wash your hands regularly and encourage others to do the same, especially when they arrive.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend indoors with others. The more time you spend in close contact with other people can increase your risk of getting Covid-19.
  • After your visitors leave, clean surfaces they have touched using your usual household cleaning and disinfectant products.
  • Where possible, have people socialise in your garden rather than inside. Being outdoors is safer than being indoors as long but continue to follow all other guidelines.
  • If adults visiting intend to drink alcohol, limit how much is available and provide plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives. Alcohol affects your judgement and you may take risks that you wouldn’t normally consider. This means that you’re less likely to maintain social distancing and wash your hands regularly.

Follow HSE guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19

When should a person not visit another home?

You should not visit someone else’s home if you:

  • have any symptoms of coronavirus
  • have been told by contact tracers that you are a close contact

Keep track of who you spend time with for contact tracing purposes. Download the Covid-19 Tracker App now

Why are there still limits on social gatherings?

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 are increasing due to more socialising in homes (and with more people attending) and cases are rising rapidly in Dublin. As Covid-19 restrictions evolve, it can be tempting to think that everything is back to the way it was before. However, even with the restrictions easing, the virus hasn’t disappeared. We all need to continue to follow the guidelines on social distancing, washing your hands, limiting close contact with people outside of your household and wearing face coverings.

Visit our Alcohol and COVID-19 hub