Politicians have appealed to the public to stay at home this Easter. The lockdown restrictions still remain in place and motorists will face police checks around Northern Ireland as efforts are made to keep people in their home safely and to reduce the risk of spreading Cod-19.
Minister makes ‘Easter at home’ plea.
NI Health Minister Robin Swann has pleaded with the general public to stay at home over the Easter holiday weekend.
And he stressed that those flouting public health advice have no right joining in the weekly applause for care workers.
“Please don’t be tempted into letting down your guard over Easter. Our health and social care staff are relying on us all to keep doing the right thing.
“The weekly Thursday night applause is so important and heartening, but it is not sufficient by itself. We have to keep following the social distancing restrictions. The vast majority of people are doing so, and I thank them for it.
“But I am urging the small majority ignoring the restrictions to think again for the sake of themselves and their loved ones. Don’t be a hypocrite tonight by applauding care workers and then letting them down by your actions.”
Mr Swann added: “The social distancing measures will stay in place for as long as they are needed and will be strengthened further if required.
“They are starting to make an impact. However, it is still early days and there will be many difficult weeks and months ahead.”
The Minister concluded: “As we head into the Easter weekend, the message remains the same. Stay at home – do not go out unless it’s absolutely necessary. Keep your distance if you do have to leave your home. Keep washing your hands and keep fighting back against Covid-19.”
Sinn Féin South Down MP Chris Hazzard has urged people to stay at home this weekend and help save lives by stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Mr Hazzard said: “With the Easter weekend and good weather approaching people may be tempted to go beaches, holiday homes or beauty spots but I would urge them to stay at home in order to save lives.
“We are now in the surge of CIOVID-19 and it is more important than ever that people follow the advice and stay at home, wash their hands and practise physical distancing.
“Going out unnecessarily puts the lives of others at risk and is irresponsible.
“By staying home people can save lives.”
Alliance’s Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong has called for caravan site operators and holiday let owners to close over Easter to try and help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Ms Armstrong said some people who own caravans have moved to them in an attempt to avoid COVID-19 in towns and cities. However, she said that was in breach of the current Government guidance to stay at home, as well as new PSNI powers to fine businesses contravening them.
“I have asked both the PSNI and local Councils, who licence caravan parks, to ensure these holiday businesses do not travel at this time. We need people to stay at home, not travel and do all they can to prevent the spread of this deadly virus,” she said.
“Site owners who allow people to stay on caravan sites are contravening the new Health Protection Regulations, which state a person responsible for carrying on a business consisting of the provision of holiday accommodation must cease to carry on that business during the emergency period.
“Caravan site operators and holiday let owners ceasing trading over Easter as to not encourage people to visit their sites will help in the fight against the spread of coronavirus and ultimately, save lives.”