Sinn Féin MLA and Minister in the Executive Office, Declan Kearney has said it is essential that the whole community in the Crumlin and Glenavy areas pulls together in observing restrictions to reduce the growing numbers of positive cases of Covid-19.
The South Antrim MLA said:
“We are now halfway through the period of local restrictions introduced to help stem the rise in Covid-19 transmission across the BT28 and BT29 areas of South Antrim.
“The need for these new localised restrictions reflects the growing incidence of positive cases in the affected areas during recent weeks. It is therefore absolutely essential that the entire community pulls together to cooperate with and support all the relevant agencies working to reduce the ever-present threat of Covid-19 in our midst.
“I have been monitoring the local situation, and reports shared with me by business people and community leaders, as well as feedback from relevant agencies, indicate that not everyone is acting to effectively reduce the speed of virus transmission.
“This trend must be reversed if we are to avoid a continuation of restrictions beyond the immediate period, or another introduction of further restrictions.
“A particular responsibility rests with local retail and licensed premises to follow the existing regulations and guidelines in order to provide a safe environment for protection of their staff and the general public.
“I commend those citizens who have been acting with great responsibility, I am appealing for everyone to exercise caution and adhere to the health advice and the regulations and guidance in place.
“While most young people are playing their part in trying to halt the spread of the virus it is very worrying that sizeable numbers of them continue to gather in certain locations with no social distancing. This is putting themselves and their families at risk and threatening to undermine the efforts of the rest of the community.
“On Friday I spoke with the PSNI district commanders with responsibility for BT29 and BT28 and requested that police bring specific focus to those premises and settings where there is evidence of regulations being breached, and, or a failure to observe guidance.
“In the meantime, everyone should also continue to practice regular hand washing, the wearing of face coverings and maintain social distancing. These measures remain essential behaviours in this critical period.”