“COVID – 19 Updates”

Organisation Anticonvulsant Syndrome

OACS Ireland

As the emergence of Coronavirus in Ireland continues, we are receving queries from people with Fetal Valproate Syndrome (FVS) / Fetal Valproate Spectrum Disorder (FVSD) and their families about what the virus may mean for them.

However from the outset, OACS Ireland believe that we have a social obligation to ask every one of our members, supporters and volunteers to please ensure that you are getting general information about Coronavirus from the correct channels – i.e, via the Department of Health and the HSE. Since the first case of Coronavirus was reported, we have seen the circulation of fake news on social media, bogus whatsapp messages and various different theories on how best to treat & prevent the spread of the virus. All of this flies in the face of the outstanding work that is being doing by doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals who are battling against this virus on a daily basis. We would therefore plead with you to ensure you are following the correct channels and not to circulate any of the messaging mentioned above that is being circulated. Every person across the country has a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID19 and this is one way you can help. There is already significant concern and worry in households across the country which is not being helped by the circulation of these messages.

The government has stated that everyone should stay at home until 12 April 2020 except for the following situations a update will be announced on said date.

The information from the World Health Organisation – WHO – COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new coronavirus introduced to humans for the first time. It is spread from person to person mainly through the droplets produced when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes. Watch this short animation to learn more about COVID-19 and how to protect yourself against it.

The World Health Organisation YouTube Video:


COVID-19 Information and Government (Links)

List of essential service providers under new public health guidelines (28th March 2020)

Citizens Information: New measures to combat COVID-19 from (27th March 2020)

Updated List of Essential Retail Outlets and Businesses that can only offer emergency call-out or delivery services (27th March 2020)

Department of Health: Guidance on cocooning to protect people over 70 years and those extremely medically vulnerable from COVID-19 (27th March 2020)

Government Departments and Agencies (Links)

COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Information from across government

Citizens Information: Overview of COVID-19 (coronavirus)

European Commission: Coronavirus response

HSE: Be on call for Ireland

Health (Links)

Department of Health: PUBLICATION: COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Health advice

HSE: Cases in Ireland

HSE: Guidance for the Business and Retail Sector

HSE: Guidance on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) for workers dealing with the general public

HSA: FAQ’s for Employers and Employees in relation to Homeworking on a temporary basis (COVID-19)

HSA: COVID 19 – Advice for Employers

Food Safety Authority: https://www.fsai.ie/faq/coronavirus.html

Employee and Employer (Links)

DEASP COVID-19 Services: Here you can apply for payments if you have been affected by COVID-19

DEASP: COVID-19 Information for Employers and Employees

DEASP: Apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

DEASP: People who cannot claim the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

DEASP: Workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19

DEASP: Apply for Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences

DEASP: Latest updates on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

DEASP: What to do if you are a student who has lost your job because of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Revenue Commissioner: Employer COVID-19 Refund Scheme

Citizens Information: Your employment rights during COVID-19 restrictions

Businesses (Links)

Government supports for COVID-19 impacted businesses

Local Enterprise Offices: COVID-19 Pandemic: Business Response

Revenue Commissioner: COVID-19 Information and advice for taxpayers and agents

Revenue Commissioner: Guidance on operation of Temporary COVID Wage Subsidy scheme

Revenue Commissioner: Guidance on Employer Eligibility and Supporting Proofs for Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

Fáilte: Support Hub – Managing business in unprecedented times

Enterprise Ireland Business Response – COVID-19

DBEI: COVID-19 Guidance for supply chain workers

Support for businesses impacted by COVID 19 through commercial rates deferral

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Posters for Public Use

COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Physical Distancing Graphics

Social Welfare (Link)

Social Welfare COVID-19 Contacts

Citizens Information: Social welfare payments and COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Citizens Information: Older people and COVID-19

Travel and Irish Abroad (Link)

Department of Health: COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Travel advice

The Department of Foreign Affairs: Irish Embassies and Consulates Abroad

DBEI: Guidance on the right of travellers to terminate package travel contracts due to extraordinary circumstances resulting from COVID-19

Who CANNOT claim the Pandemic Unemployment Payment? Answer: According to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, “Do not claim the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if your employer has not laid you off OR if you were not previously in employment OR if you are still in receipt of employment income OR if your employer takes you back onto their payroll.” More information available at the following link: People who cannot claim the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment March 27, 2020.

Denied COVID-19 benefit: All employees who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 are eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. OACS Ireland recommends that you submit the required form which you can find at Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment March 26, 2020.

Illness Benefit: I am on Illness Benefit of €203 for many years now. I presume that people such as me will not get an increase. Am I correct in thinking that? Answer: You are not eligible because you have not lost your job due to Covid-19. According to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, “When a worker is told to self-isolate by a doctor or the HSE or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by a doctor, they can apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €350 per week.” The full details are available at Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences March 26, 2020.

NCT Centres:  Currently, all NCT Centers are closed. According to the NCTS website, “We are taking these measures in line with the social distancing guidelines that have been issued by the HSE In line with Government advice, the more vulnerable in society are being asked to contact us on 014135992 to arrange an alternative appointment. As the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to escalate we have put in place the appropriate precautions to ensure we minimise any impact of the virus in our centres.” Full details are available at NCTS Website March 26, 2020.

MARCH 28th: “National Car Testing Service (NCT) is suspended until further notice with immediate effect. This is in order to comply with the new public restrictions to tackle the spread of the Coronavirus.”

Substitute Teacher: I work as a National School teacher, but as a Substitute Teacher (temporary, so don’t receive pay from Dept of Education.) It didn’t make it clear on the form, so do you know if payment is made to Substitute Teachers who have lost work? Answer: There is no reason why this would not be available to you based on previous income and the loss you are now experiencing. According to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, “The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.” The full details are available at Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment March 25, 2020

Part time worker: I work 15 hours per week and have been temporarily laid off. I’m on one parent family and have been told I can’t get help. Answer: If you have been laid off because of Covid-19, then you are eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment which IS available to part-time workers.” The full details are available at The full details are available at Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment March 25, 2020.

Stranded Abroad: This is a real humanitarian issue; we have to ensure everyone gets home safely as soon as possible. The Department of Foreign Affairs details the contact information for a specific country at Irish Embassies and Consulates Abroad March 25, 2020.

Please take the time to carry out the proper preventative measures as outlined below to stay safe:

Please ensure you follow these important steps:

  • WASH your hands well & often to avoid contamination.
  • COVER your mouth & nose with a tissue or sleeve, when coughing or sneezing and discard used tissue.
  • AVOID touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • CLEAN and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.
  • STOP shaking hands or when saying hello or greeting other people.
  • DISTANCE yourself at least 2 metres away from other people, especially those who might be unwell.


Stay Home

Stay Safe

OACS Ireland Executive Committee.



  1. T Byrne on March 29, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    As a parent, it is important to recognize the amazing work that the Executive Committee of OACS Ireland have achieved on behalf of each and every single person affected by FVS, FACS or FVSD. I shall be forever grateful to Karen Keely and her team for their continuing support.

    Can I encourage everyone associated with our OACS Ireland Facebook page to please keep in touch. These are not normal circumstances. The Covid-19 Pandemic has altered our daily routines immensely.

  2. https://waterfallmagazine.com on June 10, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Very good article. I am facing many of these issues
    as well..