The use of face masks in public is being considered as part of efforts to tackle coronavirus in Ireland, the chief medical officer has said.
Dr Tony Holohan’s comments came as the Scottish government issued guidance for people to shield their faces in places such as shops and on public transport.
The powersharing executive in Northern Ireland is also due to consider a similar proposal.
Dr Holohan said the wearing of face masks was “one of the measures we are giving consideration to”.
He told the daily Covid-19 briefing that the National Public Health Emergency Team was examining whether they should be used by the “general population” as well as in healthcare settings.
Dr Holohan stressed that there would be a need to protect supplies of healthcare grade masks if that policy was to be implemented.
“If we were to introduce such a measure, we would have to be very clear that we want to protect healthcare grade masks of all kinds for use in healthcare settings or for use by people who have been recommended to wear masks by their doctors, that does happen for some people,” he said.