McGrath Concerned At Huge Crowd Influx To Newcastle

Respect for others must be at the heart of Newcastle Covid-19 concerns says Colin McGrath MLA.

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Respect for others must be at the heart of Newcastle Covid-19 concerns says Colin McGrath MLA.

The SDLP’s Colin McGrath MLA has said that “respect for others must be at the heart of concerns raised in relation to small clusters of Covid-19 in Newcastle.

“Naturally I have been contacted by a number of people who are very concerned about the number of people in the Newcastle area who have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last number of days and the impact this has had on businesses. I share this concern.

“What is of critical importance at this time is to allow those who have symptoms to have the freedom and ability to get tested for the virus and to not feel as though they are being named and shamed on social media, as we are seeing at present.

South Down MLA Colin McGrath has been contacted by many Newcastle residents concerned at the influx of residents to the seas-side town at the weekend.

“Businesses should not be made to feel that they need to name people on social media who have tested positive. That would be unfair and a backward step.”

The South Down MLA added: “If everyone continues with the practice of fundamental actions then this will limit any potential further spread of the virus: wash your hands properly and often, practice social distancing, download and operate the STOP COVID NI app and make use of it.

“With the brakes being released on lockdown, people have flocked to Newcastle in their droves as they do every year.  The welcoming and warm hearted local community has done everything they could to ensure people had access to sanitiser stations.  

“So there has to be a certain element of personal responsibility for those who made their way here and contributed to the huge crowds we have been seeing. 

“I would urge caution for everyone who is journeying to tourist destinations to show respect to those who live and work there and ask the very pertinent question: do I really need to make this journey?”