Chairperson Councillor Laura Devlin makes a statement on the need for continued efforts to reduce COVID-19 cases in Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area.
Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin, said: “This time last week I shared the worrying news that COVID-19 was on the rise in Newry Mourne and Down and across Northern Ireland.
“I issued an urgent appeal for action – asking every resident to do everything in their power to help. And I must say I have been overwhelmed with the response.
“The district came together to get the message out:
- to remember social distancing,
- to wear a face covering where required,
- to wash our hands.
“So, thank you to those who have been redoubling your efforts.
“You may have heard the First and Deputy First Minister speaking yesterday, and those efforts were acknowledged.
“For now, Newry Mourne and Down has a reprieve in terms of further localised restrictions which will be a relief to all of us, especially our local businesses.
“However, it remains very much on a knife edge. We can still, for now, and with care, enjoy those businesses being open.
“But let me stress, while the rate of growth in our district has blunted, cases are currently still increasing. This is still a very concerning situation.
“So, for those who aren’t wearing face coverings where required, who aren’t complying with the public health guidance, please listen to our health professionals.
“They’re deeply concerned because hospital admissions, not just case numbers, are increasing across Northern Ireland and they want to make sure there are enough intensive care beds should it be you in a car accident; should it be you that has a heart attack.
“Whatever happens over the coming weeks I know that the efforts individuals have made here in Newry Mourne and Down over the past week will have made a difference to our case numbers and may well have saved lives.
“New regulations are on the way from the Executive for face coverings, including an increase in fixed penalty notices for flouting Covid-19 regulations. And we will share the details of those over the coming week.
“Please, if you do one thing this weekend, pack a face covering in your bag, in your pocket, ready to go. If not exempt, please wear one where required. Without hesitation.
“Thank you for listening, thank you for sharing and supporting our ‘Follow the Rules’ campaign and let’s continue to work together.”