Cocooning during Covid-19 in Ireland.

Click here to receive guidance on cocooning to protect your life

Cocooning is a practice used to protect those over 70 or those extremely medically vulnerable people from coming into contact with Covid-19.

These people are advised to remain at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a specific period of time as instructed by their national health boards and government directives.

These people can continue to receive visits from essential support assistants such as healthcare workers. Personal support to daily needs or social care should continue, but carers and care workers must stay away if they have any of the symptoms of COVID-19. They may find this guidance for Health and Social care workers who visit homes useful. All people entering a home should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on arrival and often whilst they are there. Carers should try and keep 2m from any vulnerable person.

Try and have an alternative list of people who can help you with your care if your main carer becomes unwell.

If you have someone else living with you, they are not required to adopt these guidelines.

According to the Irish Government ( ;

Cocooning is a measure to protect those over 70 years or those extremely medically vulnerable by minimising interaction between them and others. This means that these people should not leave their homes. Even within their homes should minimise all non-essential contact with other members of their household.

This is to protect those who are at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 from coming into contact with the virus.

If you are over 70 years of age or have a condition which makes you extremely medically vulnerable you are strongly advised to cocoon, to reduce the chance of getting COVID-19 and follow the face-to-face distancing measures below.

The measures are:

  • strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19. These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  • do not leave your house
  • do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces for example family homes, weddings and religious services
  • do not go out for shopping and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact
  • keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • do use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
  • ensure you keep phones/devices charged, and have credit on your phone so that you can stay connected

We know that stopping these activities will be difficult. You should try to identify ways of staying in touch with others and participating in your normal activities remotely from your home.

However, you must not participate in alternative activities if they involve any contact with other people.

Who are the medically vulnerable?

  • people aged 70 years or over
  • solid organ transplant recipients
  • people with specific cancers

(a) people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer

(b) people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment

(c) people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer

(d) people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors

(e) people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs

  • people with severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
  • people with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
  • people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired

How to Cocoon


Stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for 2 weeks from 27 March.

If you have a garden or balcony, spend time outside for fresh air.

Keep in touch with family and friends over the phone or online if you have access.

Keep yourself mobile by getting up and moving as much as possible.

Ask neighbours, family or friends to get any shopping or medicine you need – do not go out shopping.

Arrange for food or medicine deliveries to be left outside your door.

Use the phone if you need to contact your GP or other services – do not leave your house.


Do not go outside your home and garden.

Do not have visitors to your home, except for essential carers.

Do not attend any gatherings, including gatherings with family and friends anywhere.

Keeping well

Keep yourself mobile by getting up and moving around as much as possible. If you have a garden, backyard or balcony, go out and get some fresh air. But try to keep more than 2 metres away from other people.

Staying at home or self-isolation can be boring or frustrating. It may affect your mood and feelings. You may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping.

Try to look after your mental health by staying active and maintaining a routine. You may find it helps to stay in touch with friends or relatives by phone or on social media.

ALONE have a dedicated support line for those who have concerns about coronavirus or are facing difficulties. Contact them on 0818 222 024 Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm. (in Ireland).