The wearing of a face mask in shops will be compulsory from Monday 10 August 2020 unless you have a medical condition.
Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has welcomed the opening of a COVID-19 testing unit at St Mary’s Primary School in Newcastle, County Down.
Following the upsurge of Covid-19 cases in and around Newcastle, South Down MP Chris Hazzard said: “In recent days we have unfortunately witnessed a cluster of positive COVID-19 cases in the Newcastle area.
“Councillor Willie Clarke and I immediately requested that the Public Health Agency take a proactive approach to this cluster and establish a testing unit in the town. I welcome that this has now been done.
“I am encouraging anyone in the Newcastle area who has developed COVID-19 symptoms to avoid contact with others and to urgently get tested for the virus.
“I am also appealing to local residents and those that are visiting the town to adhere to the social distancing guidelines, practise good hand hygiene and wear a mask where appropriate in line with the public health advice and guidance.
“Sinn Féin will continue to work in Newcastle and across this island to ensure that communities receive the maximum amount of support and protection from COVID-19.”
Executive urge public to ‘Wear one for Everyone’ as face coverings become mandatory
Shoppers are legally required to wear face coverings from today (Monday 10 August).
The legislation applies to certain indoor settings, including shops.
In a joint statement, the Executive said: “The use of face coverings is a vital defence in our battle against Covid-19. That’s why we have taken the step to make this mandatory in certain settings from today.
“This is about looking after each other and doing everything we can to stay on top of this virus. It will help to save lives.
“As the slogan of our public information campaign puts it – ‘Wear one for everyone’.
“Our citizens have made great sacrifices during this pandemic, staying at home to stop Covid-19 spreading.
“Now that the lockdown has been eased, we must keep following public health advice, whether that be wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing or washing our hands.
“We need to maintain the collective spirit that got us through the first surge of the virus.
“We want face coverings in shops and other enclosed settings to increasingly become the norm in our society.
“But it also has to be remembered that some people cannot wear face coverings, due to a disability or health condition.
“There should be no stigma attached to anyone in these circumstances. If those of us who can cover up do so, then it will help keep everyone safe.
“It is expected that businesses will encourage and promote compliance – to help protect customers and staff. We are grateful to retailers for their constructive work on promoting the benefits of face coverings
“We are confident most people will comply, but those who do not wear a face covering without a reasonable excuse risk being issued with a fixed penalty notice by the police.”
The legislation does not apply to children under 13, or those who cannot wear a mask because of health or disability reasons.
Further information is available at: