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NUJ statement: Coronavirus

10 March 2020

The coronavirus (COVID19) is a source of considerable concern to all NUJ members and their families.

The union has received a number of queries from chapels and branches in relation to the NUJ's forthcoming Delegate Meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Southport on 24-26 April 2020.

We are keeping the event under review and will be guided by the advice of the relevant health authorities and statutory agencies in the UK and Ireland. Our priority at all times will be the health and welfare of staff, delegates and members. We will also be consulting with the host venue and hotels, who have a duty of care to their employees.

For now we are working on the assumption that DM will proceed as planned and advise that delegates should not change arrangements.

The NUJ will of course keep you informed of any change in relation to DM.

As an employer we are monitoring the situation to protect our staff and visitors to the NUJ offices. Our officials advise chapel representatives to consult employers to ensure that each company has made appropriate arrangements at workplace level.

Useful advice is available below:

For the UK:

In the Republic of Ireland:

Below is some basic guidance from the HSE, Ireland:

  • Wash your hands properly and often
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
  • Put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are not well
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay at home if you are sick to help stop the spread of whatever infection you may have.

Check travel advice -

UK -

Ireland -


  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Do not share objects that touch your mouth – for example, bottles, cups

Wash your hands

You should wash your hands -

  • After coughing or sneezing
  • Before and after eating
  • Before and after preparing food
  • If you are in contact with a sick person, especially those with fever or respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing)
  • After being on public transport or in a crowd (especially an indoor crowd)
  • If you have handled animals or animal waste
  • Before having a cigarette or vaping
  • After using the toilet

Keep your hands in good condition, moisturise them often. Any basic product that is not perfumed or colored is OK.

Do not wear gloves instead of washing your hands. The virus gets on them in the same way it gets on your hands. Also, your hands can get contaminated when you take them off.

Read a step-by-step guide on how to properly wash your hands and avoid infection.

Face masks

Using masks is unlikely to be of any benefit if you are not sick.

Sick people will be advised by their doctor when to use a mask. Healthcare workers need masks and other personal protective equipment to protect them from infection during their work.

Tags: , health, health and safety