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08th Jun 2020

Professor Sam McConkey advises against hugs and handshakes during phase 2

James Fenton

Professor Sam McConkey has advised against hugs, handshakes and kissing as Ireland enters phase 2 of the easing of lockdown restrictions today.

Many people will be seeing loved ones for the first time since March today as phase 2 allows us to travel 20km from our homes or anywhere within our own county. However, while there may be some emotional reunions, Professor Sam McConkey of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the RCSI has advised people to avoid intimate greetings if they are meeting up with friends or family.

He said: “We really don’t want touch-related greetings and we don’t want intimate greetings where people are getting very close,” before adding that there should be “no kissing, no hugging and no shaking hands.”

During phase 2, groups of no more than six are allowed to visit households and people are asked to wear face coverings when visiting those who are over 70. Professor McConkey said that “if people want to eat and drink together, that’s fine but it’s not quite time for using the same spoons and knives and forks and cups at this stage. I think eating together, drinking tea together and sitting together talking is great. This is a move forward.”

More information on phase 2 of the easing of lockdown restrictions can be found here.