Police have been on Patrol in Newry to ensure the community are adhering to the Health Protection Regulations brought into law by the Stormont Executive last weekend. Vehicles were stopped on the Armagh Road in the city today, Sunday.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 were made to try to slow the speed of the Covid-19 Pandemic locally.

Asking for the support of the public at this time PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd 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 PSNI stopping traffic in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
PSNI stopping traffic in Newry. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

“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 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.

“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.”

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