Sinn Féin MLA and health spokesperson Colm Gildernew has welcomed the publication of the Executive’s plan for easing COVID-19 restrictions.
Colm Gildernew said:
“I welcome the publication today of the Executive’s roadmap for the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions which have been put in place to save lives.
“The plan announced today is clear, measured and sensible and at all times prioritises the health of the public.
“It sets out five stages for easing of the restrictions, all of which will be guided and determined by medical and scientific evidence, international best practice and will be in line with the guidelines from the World Health Organisation.
“Of course challenges remain and in order to meet those challenges I welcome the Executive’s confirmation that an urgent expansion and intensive programme of testing for residents and staff of care homes will begin immediately.
“This plan recognises that the island of Ireland is one epidemiological unit which is crucial in ensuring we don’t have significant differences across the island as we emerge from these restrictions.
“Crucially, there is flexibility in this roadmap and it provides for an ongoing review so we will not be restricted to calendar dates but rather will be able to respond and adapt to the changing situation day by day as this pandemic does not recognise timelines any more than it recognises borders. This means the restrictions will not be in place longer than they have to.
“The restrictions have been and are necessary to save lives but it is important that people are given hope that they can and will be eased when the conditions are safe to do so, based on scientific and medical evidence and that will be communicated to the public.
“I would appeal to the public to continue to listen to and follow the public health messages at each stage of this process in order to continue to keep people safe and save lives.”