COVID-19 Information and Resources for Minorities and Anti-Racists

Last update: 20/05/2020

Ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Ireland and across the World has shaken us all. COVID-19 crisis is worsening structural racism and inequalities in society, with vulnerable and disadvantaged minorities bearing the brunt of its impact. Our Members, charities, NGOs and activists across Ireland, have been mobilising and organising to respond to the crisis, make sure that minorities rights are represented and put the pressure on our political leaders to keep the most vulnerable groups safe, as well as find more practical ways to help ease the crisis and those most in need.

One crucial part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is to make sure that all members of society have the information they need to stay healthy and follow quarantine guidelines. To ensure that migrants are not overlooked in the response, civil society organisations have been busy translating and communicating vital information to their communities. Authorities have also made an effort to communicate critical information in multiple languages.

This page aims to collect all information relevant to anti-racists and minorities in one place, to make it easier to stay up to date, find relevant policy updates, initiatives and campaigns you can get involved with. 

This page provides the following information:

We are updating this page on an ongoing basis, so stay tuned and email (or tag INAR in your social media updates) if you wish to add or update any information on this page.


INAR has been monitoring and recording racist incidents and online hate speech linked to the COVID-19 outbreak. If you experience, witness or come across racist behaviour or content related to coronavirus please report it to

To make an official complaint to relevant authorities, please refer to our Responding to Racism Guide and Responding to Racism blog for information on how to proceed.

Report RacismRead THE Blog

COVID-19 lockdown & reopening

Stay at home

Staying at home is the best way to minimise the risk of COVID-19 to your friends, families and communities. By staying at home – you are saving lives.

Stay at home in all circumstances, except in the following situations:

  • to travel to and from work, if your work cannot be carried out from home
  • to shop for essential food and household goods
  • to attend medical appointments and collect medicines
  • for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people – but excluding social family visits
  • for farming purposes – that is food production or care of animals
  • to engage in physical exercise within 5 kilometres of home, adhering to 2 metre social distancing
  • to meet with friends or family within 5 kilometres in groups of no more than 4, adhering to 2 metre social distancing
  • to escape domestic violence.

You should not hold any private or public functions and this includes family functions for family who don’t live in the same house.

All community centres will close. All public transport will be restricted to those carrying out essential travel for the reasons outlined above.

All non-essential businesses will close.

When you go out for exercise, you may meet people in groups of up to 4. It is essential that you practice social distancing by staying 2 metres (6 feet) apart and avoid all physical contact. These measures are to protect you and your friends and family.

If you are cocooning, you should continue to avoid all shops and retail outlets and to stay at 2 metres (6 feet) distance from other people when outdoors at all times. Guidance for those who are cocooning is available here.

See here for detailed information on the current public health guidelines.


Reopening of Ireland

On Monday, 18th of May, the Government has begun the re-opening of the country on a phased basis.
Here is a simple overview of what will happen in each phase. See here for full details about the reopening plan.

Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, many organisations listed below are now working remotely and may have a limited capacity. Please check directly with each organisation to learn more about their current operations. 


Health information and government updates

COVID-19: Official updates


To stay informed and up to date on the coronavirus situation in Ireland, follow the official health advice from reliable sources such as Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Government of IrelandRead about the government’s COVID-19 plan and Ireland’s preparedness and strategy here.

Overview of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is an excellent resource developed by the Citizens Information which signposts you to further information on the COVID-19 virus and key sources of updates and information in Ireland.

Europe and the World

Follow the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for information on the European and the global situation.

WHO WhatsApp COVID-19 Health Alert

WHO has launched a dedicated WhatsApp COVID-19 Health Alert in Arabic, English, French, Italian and Spanish. This easy-to-use messaging service provides the latest news and information on coronavirus including details on symptoms and how people can protect themselves and others. It also provides the latest situation reports and numbers in real-time to help government decision-makers protect the health of their populations.

Reliable social media accounts to follow:
  • World Health Organisation (WHO) @WHO
  • Health Sevice Executive: @HSELive
  • The Health Protection Surveillance Centre @hpscireland
  • Department of Health @roinnslainte
  • Chief Medical Officer @CMOirelan
  • Healthy Ireland, working for improved health and wellbeing in Ireland @HealthyIreland
Protect yourself from COVID-19
When and how to wear medical masks

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or may have contact with an infected person

If you think, that you may have coronavirus

If you think, that you may have Coronavirus symptoms, you should self-isolate and phone your GP first in order for a test to be organised. Any GP can arrange a test for you. 

Do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital in person.

The GP will assess you over the phone and will arrange a test if necessary.

In an emergency or if your symptoms are severe contact 112 or 999.

Other members of your household will need to restrict their movements.

HSE has included asylum seekers living in Direct Provision, as well as members of Roma and Traveller communities on their priority groups for COVID-19 testing. Inform your GP you are from a priority group while discussing your symptoms.

If you think, that you may have been in contact with an infected person

Anyone who may have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, is advised to contact HSE Live 1850 24 1850 for further information.

Close contact can mean:

  • Spending more than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person
  • Living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person.

See Factsheets and resources on self-isolation and looking after someone who may have COVID-19

Additional health information and resources

COVID-19 multilingual and easy-to-read information

COVID-19 Multilingual resources

Easy to read COVID-19 resources

Easy to read the HSE COVID-19 Public Information Guide.

Overview of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is an excellent plain English resource developed by the Citizens Information which signposts you to further information on the COVID-19 virus and key sources of updates and information in Ireland.

The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) has compiled Coronavirus (COVID-19) words and terms explained in plain English which you may find useful. 

Easy to read COVID-19 documents from Inclusion Ireland:

See the Dedicated Helplines for Migrants section below for helplines and information services offering dedicated services for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and the Travellers and Roma section for dedicated resources and information for these communities.

Financial supports & employment

Information and resources for workers

General information for all workers

information for migrant workers

  • Both Nasc and Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) has developed comprehensive COVID-19 Social Welfare supports for workers resource pages with a focus on migrant workers.
  • The Irish Government has confirmed to MRCI that all people – documented or undocumented – can apply for hardship payments and access information from social welfare services free from fear during COVID-19. If you are undocumented and have questions about the coronavirus and your situation please visit the above MRCI’s page or contact the organisation directly.

If you have any questions about your employment rights during COVID-19 you can contact any of the organisatins listed in the Dedicated Helplines for Migrants section below or get in touch with a relevant Trade Union.

Trade unions have extensive experience in dealing with workplace disputes and can support individuals who feel they have experienced racism or have been unfairly treated against at work during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Members of trade unions can avail of legal advice and discuss discrimination with union representatives who can act on workers’ behalf with employers and represent them at the Workplace Relations Commission hearings.

The following trade unions are members of the INAR Network:

COMMUNICATION WORKER’S UNION (CWU) is the union for the postal, telecommunications and call centre sectors.

FÓRSA represents over 80,000 members in the public service, as well as the commercial sector, state agencies, some private companies and in the community and voluntary sector. Check the website for the regional offices’ contacts.

IRISH CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS (ICTU) represents and campaigning on behalf of some 800,000 working people. It is an umbrella organisation with 44 unions affiliated to Congress, north and south of the border.

THE IRISH NURSES AND MIDWIVES ORGANISATION (INMO) is a professional union for nurses and midwives, represents over 40,000 members in all disciplines and areas of the Irish health service.

THE SERVICES, INDUSTRIAL, PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL UNION (SIPTU) represents over 200,000 workers from virtually every category of employment across almost every sector of the Irish economy. SIPTU Workers Rights Centre is a specialised department that deals with concerns relating to the treatment of individual employees in the workplace.

UNITE THE UNION IRELAND is the largest trade union in Britain and Ireland with 1.5 million members.

COVID-19 financial supports

Supports for employees

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has a range of measures to provide income support to people affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Currently, the following financial supports are available for employees affected by the coronavirus:

Please refer to the government pages for detailed information on the full range of available supports.

  • Illness Benefit is a payment you can apply for if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are medically certified to self-isolate as a result of it. This payment is available for employees and the self-employed.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week available to employees (full time, part-time or casual) and the self-employed who have lost their job on (or after) March 13 due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. This payment will be in place for the duration of the crisis. The payment also applies to:
    • Non-EU/EEA workers who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
    • Students (and non-EU/EEA students) who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
  • If you have one adult and one or more dependant children you should claim a Jobseeker’s Payment instead of the COVID-19 Pandemic Payment to be able to claim an additional allowance for your adult dependant and child dependants.
  • Short Time Work Support is a payment you may apply for if you have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week (3 days or less).
  • If you do not qualify for the above payments you may be able to access Exceptional Needs Payments or Urgent Needs Payments are not conditional on satisfying Habitual Residence Conditions (HRC) and are dealt with on a case by case basis. You will need to contact your local Intreo Office where you are staying on return to request information or assistance.

Supports for businesses

Supports for older people

Age Action has launched a COVID-19 Hardship Fund in conjunction with the Irish Red Cross to respond to the immediate needs of older people in vulnerable situations across Ireland experiencing additional hardship as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis. Follow the above link for more information on how to apply.

If you are from an ethnic minority background and need help with an application for the Hardship Fund you can contact Cairde, a community development organisation working to tackle health inequalities among ethnic minority communities. They provide information in English, Chinese, Arabic, Polish, Russian and French.

Money Advice

Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is a free, independent and confidential advice service for people who are looking for advice about money management, who are in danger of getting into debt or who are in debt. It has a regularly updated COVID-19 blog with personal money related topics, supports and tips.


Tenant rights during COVID-19 crisis

Emergency measures were announced on 19 March 2020 to protect tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19. These are:

  • Moratoriums on evictions (notices to leave rental accommodation) and rent increases for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, to ensure people can stay in their homes during this period.
  • An increase in the notice period for tenancies of less than six months from 28 to 90 days.

While tenants are expected to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, income supports and Rent Supplement are available to you if you are struggling to pay. These supports are provided by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. Any rent arrears built up will be payable, but landlords have been asked to show understanding and reach local arrangements in these circumstances. If you think you may have a problem paying rent you should inform your landlord immediately.

Find out more about Housing Assistance Payment and COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Supports for tenants

Services are available for tenants and landlords in difficulty through:

Threshold, the national housing charity It’s national Tenancy Protection Service provides advice and support to tenants where there is a tenancy problem or where a tenancy is at risk.

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB)  can be contacted if a solution cannot be found. The RTB provides a Dispute Resolution Process with a number of options for landlords and tenants to resolve disputes.

Crosscare provide information and advice on housing including information for people who are homeless. You can contact them Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm by phone: 01 8732844 and email:

Immigration & direct provision

Visas, work permits and international protection 


Immigration and protection updates

  • Updates from the Department of Justice and Equality (DOJ):
    • Updates relevant to the Immigration Service Delivery Function can be found on this page. It contains notices on the new arrangements brought on by the pandemic in relation to Immigration and International Protection (i.e. citizenship applications, visas, immigration and international protection issues etc.).
    • Frequently Asked Questions about the Impact of COVID-19 on Immigration and International Protection.
    • Information page regarding the Justice Sector COVID-19 plans provide updates that cover the following: Immigration Service Delivery, Accommodation Services for Applicants for International Protection, Contingency Planning for Accommodation Centres, Processing of applications and appeals.
  • Tribunal Hearings for appeals at the International Protection Appeals Tribunal have been suspended until further notice. The Tribunal prepared COVID -19 Frequently Asked Questions available here.
  • Additional information on the government’s measures to protect asylum-seekers, including its contingency planning for centres, can be found here.
  • The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has implemented a contingency plan to ensure that the Employment Permits system will continue to operate in all scenarios for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

Know your rights: information and resources for migrants

– Employment Permits

– Assisted Voluntary Returns

– Deportation/transfer/removal orders and signing on

– Citizenship

– Family reunification

– Visas

– GNIB registrations

– Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) and International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) updates.

People in Direct Provision and COVID-19

  • If you think you may have coronavirus:
    HSE has included asylum seekers living in Direct Provision on their priority groups for COVID-19 testing. Inform your GP you are from a priority group while discussing your symptoms.
  • Residents with complex medical conditions:
    IPAS and HSE have  been working on cocooning the most vulnerable residents (over 65s and people with complex medical conditions). If you have a medical condition that requires consideration and have not already made contact, please e-mail with details of your case.
  • Self isolation facilities for people in Direct Provision:
    The Department of Justice and Equality has been working with the HSE and with some non-profit organisations (such as the Peter McVerry Trust) to establish self-isolation facilities in Dublin and Cork. New self-isolation centres will open in Limerick, Dundal, Galway and Waterford shortly. Residents in these units will be provided with psycho-social supports for the duration of their stay. These facilities are for any resident who:


    • needs to self-isolate because they have symptoms of COVID-19.
    • needs to self-isolate because they have a diagnosis of COVID-19.
    • has been treated in hospital for COVID-19 and discharged to recover further
  • Residents of Centres are subject to the same current public health measures as the rest of the population, for example, the right to exercise within a 5km radius, attend medical appointments or to shop for food or other necessities as set out in Government guidelines. 

Dedicated Helplines for Migrants 

Dedicated COVID-19 helplines and information for migrants 

Many of INAR Members and other organisations across the country are working hard to ensure that the rights of ethnic minorities in Ireland are protected and represented during this crisis. 

If you are a migrant, refugee or asylum seeker who is concerned about your rights and entitlements, the impact of Coronavirus on your protection application or immigration status, employment rights, accommodation or access to health or public services during COVID-19 pandemic you can contact organisations listed below. Helplines and services specific to the Traveller community are listed in the Traveller & Roma section.

Cairde is a community development organisation working to tackle health inequalities among ethnic minority communities. They provide information in English, Chinese, Arabic, Polish, Russian and French.

Crosscare Information and Advocacy Services include Migrant Project, Housing and Welfare Information and Refugee Service. Crosscare provides information and advocacy services in the areas of housing, homelessness, social welfare, immigration issues, health and wellbeing-related issues, emigration, returning emigrants and the asylum process, family reunification, citizenship and support with integration.

Children’s Rights Alliance Helpline is for children, young people and their families or people who are working with them to access legal information about child’s right in areas like education, early years, immigration, family law.

CultúrA community organisation working across Co. Meath with ethnic minorities including immigrants, migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees. It provides information on a wide range of areas relating to social welfare, housing, education and immigration-related issues.

Doras: is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation working to support and promote the rights of all migrants living in Limerick and the wider Mid-West through their support services which assist migrants in accessing their rights and entitlements.

Free Legal Advice Centre (FLAC) Telephone Legal Advice Clinics is a free confidential service that provides first stop, basic legal information, advice and referral. You can also refer to FLAC’s dedicated COVID-19 Legal Information FactsheetsFLAC are running a limited number of Immigration Law Phone Advice Clinics. If you are in need of urgent legal advice on an immigration related matter you can contact FLAC’s Telephone Information line on 1890 350250 or 01 8745690 Mon-Fri 9.30-1pm & 2-5pm, to request an appointment

Irish Refugee Council works to deliver high-quality support and advice to people in the asylum process and people who have been granted status.

Immigrant Council of Ireland is an independent, national organisation which supports migrants coming to Ireland for purposes such as work, study, family reunification, self-employment or to visit. The ICI provides an information service and a limited legal service to immigrants.

Legal Aid Board has a designated mobile number that you can ring to receive Legal Aid Board information on your international protection application. Applicants can use this number to communicate with the Legal Aid Board regarding their case. The number is 087 456 3066 and is open Monday to Friday 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-4pm. 

Mayo Intercultural Action a Mayo-based migrant representative and advocacy group provides advice, support, information to people in Direct Provision about their rights, entitlements and opportunities in relation to health, welfare, education/training, accommodation and linking with the local community.

Migrant Rights Centre Ireland provides free and confidential information, advice and assistance on immigration and employment issues to migrants and their families. The MRCI supports several campaign groups including groups for domestic workers, au-pairs, undocumented migrants and victims of trafficking for forced labour.

Nasc w is a Cork-based organisation that works to enable migrants to access justice and human rights and works to ensure a just, inclusive and integrated society. They provide information, advice and support to all migrants, including work permit holders, asylum seekers and refugees, EU nationals and non-EEA nationals.

UNHCR Ireland is the Irish representation of the UN Refugee Agency, a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Their protection team remains available to help on the matters of asylum applications, resettlement and family reunion.

Community support

Where to find support and how to offer it to others 



The Community Call is an initiative that links local and national Government with the community and voluntary sectors to combat the effects of COVID-19. Each local authority (council) has established a Community Response Forum to coordinate COVID-19 related community supports. The immediate focus is on the elderly and the most vulnerable and mobilising rapid response in every county to make sure everyone is looked after.

As part of this, the government has set up a nationwide COMMUNITY CALL HELPLINE 0818 222 024 and each local authority has established a LOCAL COMMUNITY CALL HELPLINE that those vulnerable, elderly or isolating during the COVID-19 crisis can phone if they are looking for help.

Download The Community Call: Advice and Contact Information for Your County booklet

Each local Community Call can provide the following services:

  • Shopping for food, fuel and other essential household items
  • Transport to medical appointments
  • Delivery of hot meals through local meals on wheels services
  • Collection of prescribed medicines

If you need help, if you know someone who needs help, or if you would like to offer help, contact your Local  Community Call Helpline

ALONE, the national charity for older people, is partnering with COVID-19 Community Call Forum. If you need information, reassurance, or just to talk you can call them at 0818 222 024. You can also contact ALONE if you are experiencing difficulties with physical and mental health, finance, loneliness and other challenges.

An Post is providing extra services for older and more vulnerable people:

  • ‘Request a Check-In’ is a facility for family members to request a specific ‘An Post Check-In’ by the local postman or postwoman for an older or vulnerable person during the current ‘Cocooning’ period.
  • The postal worker can contact the Alone helpline on your behalf if you need help to access local services. You have to register for this service.
  • If you have a post that you want delivered, you can put a sign in your window that says I HAVE MAIL, and the postman or postwoman will collect it and send it for you free of charge.
  • An Post will also have a newspaper delivery service.

Local Link is a Public Transport services in 15 local and rural areas of Ireland. Your Local Link can offer a collect and deliver service from pharmacies and local shops for passengers delivering critical medical supplies to the elderly, the vulnerable and sick within rural areas. Those in need of such support should contact their Local Link provider.

  • COVID-19 Medicine Deliveries is a group of dedicated students in health professions who are volunteering their time to deliver medicine to the self-isolating, vulnerable and elderly members of Irish communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can contact them via their Facebook Page or by emailing
  • Dublin Inquirer set up a handy local guide for Dublin services, groups, and small business offers that have popped up in neighbourhoods in response to the pandemic into one place – creating a local directory for Dublin, which people can search and submit to.
  • Every week in the #CoronavirusSolidarity Diaries the Irish Examiner is highlighting community initiatives which have been set up to offer support to those most impacted by the crisis or examples of people who are going above and beyond the call of duty.



Be on Call for Ireland

The government issued a call asking all healthcare professionals from all disciplines who are not already working in the public health service to register to be on call for Ireland. The call was also extended to people studying to become a healthcare professional and those who may have other skills to offer or just want to volunteer to do their bit if needed.

The HSE has established a dedicated COVID-19 Offers of Assistance team.  This team are receiving, acknowledging and signposting all offers of assistance on an ongoing basis. To get more information, please go to ‘Your offers’ and complete the form with your contact information and details of the service you are offering. 

Community organisations and COVID-19

  • In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has recently issued a Framework for Local Authority Community Support Response, a national template for arrangements in each local authority area. This ensures that all vulnerable members of our communities are appropriately supported as we move through the next stages of the COVID-19 response. As part of the Government response to the COVID-19 crisis, local authorities have established a COVID-19 Community Call Forums. Each local forum works with State agencies and community and voluntary groups to provide supports or services to any vulnerable person who needs them. Get in touch with your local Forum if your organisation is in a position to offer help.

  • Department of Rural and Community Development prepared a useful COVID-19 Communication Pack for Communities as part of the government’s support to voluntary and community groups. The Department has also set up a dedicated email help desk, C& for community and voluntary groups. This will provide accurate and timely information for these groups as they respond to the COVID-19 situation. It is particularly directed at community and voluntary groups operating at the smaller, local level. 

  • Community Work Ireland has developed an excellent resource for community organisations Marginalised Groups: Planning for Resilience in the COVID-19 Crisis.

  • The National Women’s Council of Ireland page Supporting Communities During COVID-19  brings together information on Community Supports during COVID-19 and supports from the state and other resources to enable responses from a community and voluntary groups.

  • Resources for organisers in times of COVID-19 crisis: ENAR Europe has made a compilation of resources from a variety of experienced organisers adapted for activism, organising meetings, narratives & funding, to help anti-racist activists organise in this new context.

Campaigns and calls to action


ApartTogether survey asks how refugees and migrants across Europe are experiencing COVID-19 and how they deal with challenges that have arisen. The survey uses easy to understand language and has been translated into 27 languages. Take part in the survey here.



Following advice from the HSE, older people over 70 (even those who are fit and well) and other extremaly vulnerable groups, need to minimize their risk of infection by staying at home during the COVID-19.

Cocooning means you should stay at home at all times and avoid face-to-face contact. Even within your home, you should minimise all non-essential contact with other members of your household. Ask your family, carers or neighbours for help to ensure you have the support you need. You can also get help while cocooning through your local County Council and other organisations.

You can find the guidance on cocooning to prevent people over 70 and those extremely medically vulnerable from COVID-19. 

Supports for older people

Emotional and practical
  • ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, launched a national support line 0818 222 024 and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties during the COVID-19 restrictions. You can contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. The support line offers reassurance and guidance, as instructed by the HSE, and follow up support including a daily support telephone call, support with practical tasks such as grocery and medication distribution, ensuring they have fuel and are not feeling socially isolated during this time.
  • SeniorLine 1800 80 45 91 provides a Freefone service every day of the year 10am-10pm, including all public holidays. Callers concerned about coronavirus will get the most up-to-date guidance recommended by Government sources.
  • Age Action has two main supports are outlined below and accessible by calling 0818 911 109 or you can find out more here.

– Call Safe – ‘check-in’ calls being proactively made to older people already linked with Age Action. Information Service – the online support through has been extended to 8am-8pm 7 days a week.

– Home Safe – providing additional supports to older people, enabling them to transition quickly out of hospital into their own homes, ensuring that their home is safe while also supporting our hospitals to respond to the Covid-19 health crisis. Age Action also providing an emergency response for urgent repairs and other supports for older people in the community in order to ensure people can remain safely in their own home.


Age Action has launched a COVID-19 Hardship Fund in conjunction with the Irish Red Cross to respond to the immediate needs of older people in vulnerable situations across Ireland experiencing additional hardship as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis. Follow the above link for more information on how to apply. If you are from an ethnic minority background and need help with an application for the Hardship Fund you can contact Cairde, a community development organisation working to tackle health inequalities among ethnic minority communities. They provide information in English, Chinese, Arabic, Polish, Russian and French.

Crime Prevention Advice during the COVID-19 crisis

To ensure all individuals are alert to bogus callers, online scams and home security the police has prepared a Crime Prevention Leaflet. This advice is also available in eleven different languages.

The Garda National Diversity & Integration Unit can be contacted on 01-6663150 or by email to

Travellers & ROMA

Traveller COVID-19 Sharing Resources

This page is for the sharing of resources developed nationally and by the Traveller Health Units (THUs) and Traveller groups in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus):

Roma COVID-19 Sharing Resources

This page is for the sharing of resources developed nationally and by the CHOs and Roma groups in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). It contains the following information:


If you have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Call your GP first (DO NOT visit in person). HSE has included Traveller and Roma communities on their priority groups for COVID-19  testing. Tell your GP that you are a Traveller or Roma together with your symptoms, as they will prioritise you.

If you have questions about Coronavirus, are worried and/or would like to talk to someone, you can contact dedicated Traveller and Roma COVID-19 Hotlines: 

  • Traveller COVID-19 Hotline 083 100 6300 (call or text) is a new national hotline set up to deal with Coronavirus queries for Travellers. The Hotline is hosted by HSE and Traveller Health Unit. 
  • Roma COVID-19 Infoline 087 126 4606 (în limba Română și în limba Rromă) from Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm.
  • Exchange House Helpline 01 872 1094 7 days/week, 9am-5pm
  • You can also contact HSE Helpline on 1850 24 1850.
  • Pavee Point Primary Health Care Traveller Project 01 878 0255
  • Sligo Traveller Support Group 071 914 5780


Emotional support

For emotional support get in touch with:


COVID-19 Information for Travellers and Roma


Department of Housing gave instructions to all local authorities to provide emergency support on existing Traveller sites and to work with families, local Traveller organisations and representatives to address situations where families do not have adequate facilities.

Local Authorities will provide the following where needed:

  • Extra toilets
  • Running water
  • Additional mobile accommodation/ space where there is overcrowding
  • Extra  rubbish collection
  • Access to sites for emergency vehicles
  • Additional units (either mobiles on-site or houses elsewhere that will allow for self-isolation or quarantine if anyone needs it).

Irish Traveller Movement (ITM) advises that if you are worried about your living conditions and the coronavirus you can contact:

  • Your local authority to inform them of your need and remind them of the above message.
  • Your local Traveller organisation.
  • The ITM Accommodation Officer (, 083 0673373).
  • The Exchange House Ireland helpline at  01 872 1094.

COVID-19 Guidance settings for vulnerable groups document provides general advice about preventing the spread of COVID-19 in settings for vulnerable groups, such as homeless, Travellers, refugees/asylum seekers and others. The measures outlined are mainly focused on congregate settings or facilities managed by staff and can be applied in direct provision centres, hostels, hubs or residential settings including those without clinic or in-house nursing, medical or healthcare support.

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Watch Pavee Point COVID-19 information for Travellers

Watch Pavee Point COVID-19 information for Roma community

Watch Self-Isolation Explained in an Irish Traveller Setting

INternational Students

Government updates

  • All further and higher education institutions (including English language schools) will be closed at least until 5 May 2020. Latest updates from the Department of Education and Skills can be accessed here.
  • The current college closures will not affect your attendance record. If your English language school has closed down due to Government advice regarding COVID-19, all international students will be considered to have met their attendance requirement for the shutdown period.
  • The Department of Education has published COVID-19 Guidance for students in the English language education sector who are planning to come to Ireland to study English, or are already in Ireland and registered in an English language course. Read the statement from the Department on the English language education sector (available in multiple languages).
  • International students that have recently arrived to Ireland and have not yet registered with immigration, will not need to prove that they still have access to €3,000 (funds required for a Student Visa) when immigration registration recommences.

Other resources for international students

International students and employment

Free English language supports

Continue your learning during the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Dublin City University has put together a great list of self-study online resources for learning English, so you can keep studying while classes are suspended.

Children & young people

Education and schools


Government updates

Support for disadvantaged children

Guidance on Continuity of Schooling:

Living Cert 2020 poster

Children & young people covers a broad range of COVID-19 issues relevant to young people, including information on schools, studying and exams, coping with stress and isolation, mental health, employment, housing and more.

The National Youth Council of Ireland has put together resources, training and advice to support youth workers and young people through this difficult time.

My Hero Is You, Storybook for Children on COVID-19  Over 1,700 children, parents, caregivers and teachers around the world participated in the creation of this book by sharing their experiences of the COVID-19 outbreak. This short story is now available in a variety of languages.


Young people who feel overwhelmed or anxious around the current pandemic can contact the following dedicated helplines:

SpunOut Text Message Support Service: To connect with a trained volunteer who will listen to you, and help you to move forward feeling better text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280.

Childline has a 24-hour freephone number for under 18’s, you can call 1800 666 666 any time, day or night. Their online chat and text service is available from 10am to 4pm every day (Text 50101).

Click here for a list of mental health supports available to young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Children’s Rights Alliance Legal Information Helpline is open for children, young people and their families or people who work with them to access legal information. Call 01 9020494 or email

Domestic violence information and helplines for under 18s. This information is for young people who are concerned about domestic abuse. It may be something that is happening in your life, or to someone that you know and care about.

Supports for parents

School & Education
Emotional and parenting support
  • Barnardos has launched a COVID-19 national telephone support service for parents in response to the challenges they are facing during the pandemic.
  • The askonefamily helpline is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm and 2pm- 3.30pm. The service provides information on: social welfare, finances, family law, housing, education, childcare, parenting, and mediation. It also offers a listening service for people who need support parenting alone, co-parenting or separating. Call the askonefamily helpline lo-call helpline: 1890 662 212 (from landline) or 01 662 9212  e:  or you can Direct Mail on Facebook. The organisation also have a useful COVID-19 resource for single parents.
  • An experienced accredited Counsellor is available to offer phone support during the COVID – 19 crisis to mothers with children under 4. Counselling offers you a space to talk through what you are feeling or to understand what is going on for you in a supportive and non-judgemental way. Kate is there to really listen to you; to hear what you actually say and to help you explore the thoughts and feelings behind your words. She recognises your choice to live your own life and, unlike well-meaning but often opinionated family members or friends around you, will not try to tell you what you should do! To make an appointment, text Kate on 085 271 3413. 
  • Coronavirus and Access Arrangements for Children.
Children’s mental health
Healthy lifestyle

Undocumented migrants

The Irish Government has confirmed to the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) that all people – documented or undocumented – can apply for hardship payments and access information from social welfare services free from fear during COVID19.  You will need to give the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) personal information to apply for hardship payments. The Department have given assurance in their Twitter post that data they receive as part of an immigrant’s application for a COVID19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will not be shared with GNIB or the Department of Justice and Equality. 

  • To access any financial support from social welfare during COVID-19 you must have a PPS number first. It is safe for you to apply for one now. Visit MRCI’s page to find out how to proceed and contact the organisation directly if have any questions about your situation.
  • Undocumented people can access essential healthcare or other public services related to COVID-19 without fear that the Immigration Authorities will be informed. The information gathered by health and other State authorities is used in the national fight against COVID-19. Therefore, Immigration Services do not require State authorities to collect or communicate the immigration status of any person seeking access to essential healthcare or other public services related to COVID-19.
  • Contact MRCI if you are undocumented and are rrying to regularise your status or if you have any questions or concerns. See the facebook post below.


CORonavirus & RACISM

Statements by politicians and media pundits blaming Chinese people or migrants for the current pandemic are not just untruthful, they are dangerously reckless at a time when society as a whole is struggling to put all its resources into responding to the crisis. Such statements divert us from problem-solving into the politics of blame and division.

While it is tempting to laugh at the buffoonery of the personalities, internationally and nationally, who make such statements, they have very grave consequences. In recent weeks INAR’s racist incident reporting system has logged a very significant number of “Coronavirus inspired” incidents, in which migrants and in particular people assumed to be Chinese are targeted. Workers, elderly people, women on their own, couples and families have been the targets of “jokes”, hostility, verbal abuse, harassment and violence with serious impacts on them, their families and communities.

We all have enough to deal with in the current crisis, without unleashing this hatred which only serves to sow suspicion, fear and hostility. It is all of our responsibility, ordinary people, politicians, journalists,  to act, speak and report responsibly with respect to the crisis. We must all challenge racist myths and those who reproduce them.

Report Coronavirus-related racism

INAR has been monitoring and recording racist incidents and online hate speech linked to the COVID-19 since its outbreak in Ireland. If you experience, witness or come across racist behaviour or content related to Coronavirus, please report it to A special INAR report on Coronavirus-related incidents logged with is expected at the end of April.

To make an official complaint to relevant authorities, please refer to our Responding to Racism Guide and Responding to Racism blog for information on how to proceed with reporting racist crime and reporting racist discrimination.

Main areas of concern accross the EU

  • The COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating structural racism and inequalities in society, with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups bearing the brunt of its impact. Read what the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) members across Europe see as the main emergencies and concerns during this crisis in ENAR’s dedicated ‘Corona Diaries’ Blog.
  • ENAR launched an interactive map on the COVID-19 impact on racialized communitiesThe map shining a light on existing structural racism and inequalities across the EU. 
  • The Institute of Race Relations has produced the Calendar of Racism and Resistance, a fortnightly resource for anti-racist and social justice campaigns, highlighting key events in the UK and Europe.  This resource incorporates the COVID-19 roundup of racism, health, policing and civil liberties into the calendar of racism and resistance, which can help with making developments during this period clearer and easier to understand.
  • The European Website For Migration has information about COVID-19’s impact on migrant communities.
  • In the below resource prepared by Helena Dalli, the EU Equality Commissioner lists the main areas of concern in terms of the pandemic-related racism and how address these inequalities. 

Policing and hate crime

Hate crime

An Garda Síochána (AGS) has ensured that they will continue to fully investigate all hate crime reports during the Coronavirus pandemic times. Under the Garda Diversity & Integration Strategy 2019-2020 AGS has made a commitment to improving areas such as recording of hate crime, response to hate crime and enhanced reporting facilities by way of initial online reporting and third-party referrals.

For advice on how to report hate crime, please refer to our Reporting Racism Crime in Ireland blog post. Why and How to Report Racist Incidents article may also help you with preparing to make such a report.

If you or members of your family need support and/or information following the crime, you can contact the Crime Victim Helpline or Federation for Victim Assistance.

COVID-19 and far-right

Key EU developments related to COVID-19 and racialised groups 

The following EU initiatives can support your work when calling governments to pay specific attention to racialised groups in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis:

Other resources


Domestic violence

  • On 15th April Department of Justice has launched StillHere Domestic Abuse Awareness Campaign reaching out to victims of domestic abuse.
    A major new TV, radio and social media campaign tackling the serious issue of domestic violence in the context of COVID-19 measures seeks to reassure victims that services are ‘still here’, and that victims are being prioritised.
    The new ads were developed by the Department of Justice and Equality who collaborated with frontline services.


Sexual health & unplanned pregnancy

Mental health and emotional support

Mental health services and resources

Mental health Resources for Ethnic Minorities

IOM Ireland has published a COVID-19 Emotional Responses – What to Expect information in 5 languages.

Migrants who are survivors of torture can receive service from SPIRASI, a national centre for the rehabilitation of victims of torture in Ireland. If you have a query please email: or Text: 086-1716477.

Traveller and Roma communities can get emotional support from:

Fitness & wellbeing

Olympians, asylum-seekers and refugees are virtually coming together every Saturday morning to exercise thanks to an innovative project led by former Irish Olympian Claire Lambe and the Sanctuary Runners’ Movement. If you would like to join the Sanctuary Runners and take part in the #SanctuaryStrength exercise sessions email

UN COVID-19 wellbeing resource page for their staff has free guided meditation and yoga classesThere are also many meditation, relaxation and yoga classess available on social media provided free of charge, such as the relaxation sessions by Natural Back Health, guided mediation offered by Justin Caffery or yoga sessions by Dublin based yogi, Maura to name a few. Additionally, some fitness companies and apps are now offering free online workout routines. 

Uplift is trying to support community and human connection despite physical distancing. They ran their first “Songs of Struggle and Solidarity” (click the view the recording) video conference/ concert! Uplift is aiming to run another every week and you can subscribe to their events on crowdcast.

Culture and entertainment

Working remotely

Religious and spiritual needs during coronavirus

Religious services during the COVID-19

Most of the places of worship in Ireland are now closed to follow the  Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for religious services. However, you can follow religious ceremonies online, as many of them are often streamed live online.

Read the statement of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum in relation to COVID-19.

Check directly with your place of worship on their services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ramadan and Covid-19
  • UNHCR Ramadan Guidelines during the COVID-19 Pandemic

UNHCR Ramadan Guidelines during the COVID-19 Pandemic

WHO advice on Safe Ramadan practices in the context of COVID-19

Guidelines on Ramadan during COVID-19


 If you wish to add or update any information provided here email