Police And Translink Appeal For People To Stay At Home

Police in Newry Mourne & Down are working with Translink to urge everyone to continue to follow the health advice… stay at home to prevent the spread of infection this Bank Holiday weekend.

PSNI District Commander Supt. Jane Humphries said: “With warmer weather forecast and the longer, lighter days following the clocks changing, many people will want to get out and about and enjoy the fresh air this weekend so I am urging everyone to continue to follow the health advice; stay at home to prevent the spread of infection.

“We understand the importance of exercise and fresh air, not only for our physical health but also for good mental health, which is vital in these challenging and anxious times – but please do so responsibly.

“The very simple health advice is that you should only leave home when it is absolutely essential and it is encouraging that the vast majority of people do appear to be following the health guidelines.

The new health care regulations allow you to leave home in order to exercise. When it comes to travel it is a reasonable excuse to travel for the purpose of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services where it is not possible for that person to work or provide those services from their home.

“It is also a reasonable excuse to travel for essential matters such as to seek medical assistance, obtain basic necessities  including food and medical supplies, provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person, donate blood or to attend a funeral of a member of your household or close family member.

“The legislation does not however provide that you may travel for the purpose  of exercise and therefore like our colleagues in health, we would advise you not to do this.

“Despite there now being less people on our roads, inappropriate speed for the conditions remains one of the main causes of the most serious collisions in which people are killed and seriously injured.  Our health service colleagues have a big enough challenge on their hands. The last thing they need is to deal with the aftermath of a serious collision.

Please take personal responsibility for road safety, now more than ever. While there is less traffic on many roads, we are seeing greater numbers of pedestrians from children through to older people and more cyclists using our road network across all times of the day – so it is critically important that we all look out for each other. The only way you can prevent an accident is to not take that journey in the first place if you don’t need to.

“We are working in partnership with our colleagues in the NI Executive Office, the Department of Health and agencies across the public sector, to jointly fight the spread of the virus.

“We cannot do this unless the public adhere to the new measures, therefore I am calling on everyone in Northern Ireland to work with us, use your common sense and only leave your house if absolutely necessary.”

For guidance – details around the restrictions around movement introduced by the new Covid-19 regulations can be found at: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/health/Coronavirus-Restrictiions-Regs-2020.pdf

Translink is reminding everyone to stay at home this Easter and only travel by bus or train if they are making essential journeys.

Translink’s Director of Service Operations Ian Campbell said: “These are unprecedented times, the message is simple, only travel if absolutely essential. 

“If you must travel, we would remind everyone to maintain social distancing with other passengers and staff within stations, at bus stops and on-board services, wash hands before they travel and use cashless payment options or have the correct change as change cannot be given on board. 

“Please stay at home and help save lives”.