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Information for health care workers is available on Coronavirus guidance documents are available on

Staff travel during COVID-19

Ireland is moving to Level 5 of the Government's plan for Living with COVID-19 from midnight on Wednesday 21 October 2020. Full details of restrictions under Level 5 are available on

You should work from home unless you are providing an essential service for which your physical presence is required. Click here for details about domestic travel restrictions under Level 5.

Guidance for staff who need to travel using public transport shared HSE vehicles or your own vehicle.

Before travelling

If you develop a cough, shortness of breath or a fever you should stay at home and follow the guidelines for self-isolation.

See testing for health care workers

You can get the latest information about COVID-19 from the staff website. You should then consider if you need to travel or if the meeting or task can be done remotely using technology.

Steps to follow before travelling

  1. Pre-plan your journey, looking at the route to take, the transport you need and where you will park. Avoid unnecessary social contact and practice social distancing.
  2. Wear a face covering when using public transport unless you have an illness, special needs or impairment that would make wearing or removing a face covering upsetting or uncomfortable.
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser before travelling and take sanitiser with you.
  4. Gatherings should be avoided. Where this is unavoidable, physical distancing must be maintained (2 metres or more).

See Essential service under new public health guidelines COVID-19 (HR Circular 019/20)

Related information

For non-essential travel overseas you must book annual leave or unpaid leave for the 14 day period of restricted movement

Public transport

If you're using public transport, clean your hands regularly with an alcohol-based sanitiser and wear a cloth face covering.

Where possible, use seats facing the same direction. Keep a distance of 2 metres away from other passengers at all times. Do not face other passengers in case they sneeze or cough.

If possible, avoid using your hands to open and close doors and instead use your elbows and shoulders. Where you must touch handles or buttons, clean your hands afterwards.

Wash your hands when you've arrived at your destination.

Using shared HSE vehicles

When using a HSE vehicle you should travel separately where possible. Additional staff should follow in separate HSE or private vehicles.

You should do a risk assessment for each type of journey. Risk assess all situations where there is likely to be contact with people. For example, assisting service users into and out of the vehicle.

Minimise the number of passengers, so far as is practicable, and keep journey times as short as possible to reduce your contact time.

Where a vehicle must be shared, you should open the windows to create ventilation. Do not use the ventilation recirculation setting.

Keep seating as far apart as possible to maintain social distancing of 2 metres.

Display information cards showing good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette in the vehicle.

Keep a list of your passengers in case contact tracing becomes necessary. Let your passengers know that this list will be used for contact tracing if required.

If you are transporting service users then you should wear a mask at all times. You should also wear a mask if you are likely to come within 2 metres of a colleague for 15 minutes or more. This applies if you are inside or outside the vehicle.

Using your own private vehicle

If you're using your own vehicle, you should travel on your own. Carpooling is not advised during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Make sure that your vehicle is roadworthy and you have enough fuel to avoid unnecessary stops. If you do have to refuel your vehicle, use a contactless service station if possible. Use gloves when handling the fuel pump and clean your hands when you've finished.

Keeping vehicles virus-free

Keep disinfectant wipes in your vehicle to clean frequently-contacted surfaces.

These include:

  • door handle
  • key or fob
  • steering wheel
  • dashboard
  • inside door buttons
  • seat belts
  • gear stick
  • touchscreens

Use soap and water to clean surface materials that may be affected by disinfectant.

You should clean frequently-contacted surfaces before and after your journey.

Keep waste in a suitable lidded container and remove from the vehicle at the end of each journey.

Wash your hands before and after using your vehicle.

Overseas travel (non-essential)

You should avoid all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. Anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland, must restrict their movements for 14 days. This includes residents returning to Ireland. If you intend to undertake non-essential overseas travel you must book annual leave or unpaid leave for the 14-day period of restricted movement. You will not be permitted to work from home in lieu of taking annual leave or unpaid leave for the 14-day period of restricted movement.

Leave arrangements for employees who return from non-essential travel overseas (Circular 049/20)

Related topics

Non-essential travel overseas

Working from home

Protect yourself and others

Restricted movements and self-isolation

Page last reviewed: 06/05/2020
Next review due: 06/05/2023