The wearing of face coverings or face masks is to become mandatory in Ireland in all shops, retail settings and shopping centres for both retail staff and customers. The Taoiseach, Micheal Martin,  announced this evening , 15th July, that Ireland will not move to Phase 4 of the Roadmap for the Reopening of the Country on Monday and while current health measures will remain in place until the 10th August , the advice on the mandatory wearing of face masks in retail settings is one of the latest measures announced to help prevent a resurgence of the spread of Covid-19 virus.

Advice on the wearing of face mask has been gaining traction since the beginning of the pandemic.  Medical Research now shows the effectiveness of face masks in the prevention of the spread of the Coronavirus and in Ireland trade unions and retailers have been calling for  for compulsory face coverings in shops and supermarkets to protect retail workers from the dangers of contracting Covid-19. The wearing of face masks is  particularly important  for both retail workers and customers where social distancing is tricky in places such as shops, retail outlets and shopping centres. While there has been an increasing prevalence of persons wearing face masks, the latest announcement removes any uncertainty.

Mr Martin announced that retail staff will be required to wear face coverings unless there is a partition in place. or a space of two metres between them and customers.  He said that regulations with details on enforcement and penalties will be formulated in relation to this advice.

Professor of Immunology at Trinity College Dublin, Luke O’Neill, has previously advised that the use of face coverings will be “critical”  Professor O’Neill believes that using coverings should be a “key strategy” along with existing public health advice like social distancing and handwashing.

“Wearing a mask will help to stop the transmission of the virus in public places. If we don’t wear masks, there is a risk of transmission, a risk of infecting people. So I see it as a key strategy with all the rest of it,” he said. He added that scientific studies are suggesting that 95% of the “viral load” can be trapped in a face covering, meaning that if two people together are wearing coverings, there will be “virtually no exchange of the virus between those two people”.

MMS Medical supplies both disposable Medical Grade Face Masks and Surgical Grade Face Masks. We continue to supply facemasks and PPE to our own staff and healthcare colleagues,  we have also seen an increase in demand from businesses and private clients around the country for face masks in recent weeks. Our Medical Grade disposable face masks are available in boxes of 50. Our Surgical Grade facemasks continue to be in demand. Contact our dedicated PPE team on 021 461 8000 or email