People are being encouraged to mute their New Year’s Eve celebrations amid claims that house parties would be a “super-spreader” for Covid-19.
As people prepare to leave 2020 behind, Health Minister Robin Swann is caling for a collective effort and for everyone to play their part in fighting back against coronavirus. in this crucial period.
The Minister urged strict adherence to the Covid-19 rules this week – and throughout the remainder of Northern Ireland’s six week ‘lockdown’.
This week – December 26 to January 2 – sees additional restrictions in place, including closure of all retail from 8pm to 6am.
Mr Swann said: “We need another huge collective effort across society to push down Covid infection rates. We do that by reducing our contacts with others, by staying at home, by keeping our distance from others if we need to be outdoors for good reason, and by wearing a face covering and washing our hands.
“This will save lives and ease the pressures on our health service at this most challenging time.
“I know how tough 2020 has been and how fed up we all are with this virus. But I am confident we can all pull together once again at this critical time.
“2021 is a year of renewed hope with the vaccine roll-out. We need a concerted and united push in the next few months to get us to a better place.”
The Minister added: “Please stay at home as much as possible. Please don’t be tempted to visit friends this week. It’s not just about complying with the regulations, it’s about keeping yourself and others safe.
“A New Year’s Eve house party would not just be against the law. It could be a super-spreader event, could leave people very seriously ill and could even cost lives.”
The Northern Ireland Executive is underlining the ‘Stay at Home’ message this week with adverts on TV and radio.
Full details of the Covid-19 regulations are available on nidirect.