Sinn Féin MLA and Junior Minister Declan Kearney has said measures put in place to save lives and prevent the spread of COVID-19 will remain in place for as long as necessary.
Declan Kearney said:
“The measures put in place by Assembly regulations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are there to protect people.
“Supporting measures to close businesses, protect people’s livelihoods, while restricting mobility are a necessary cost that we must all pay to get through this emergency.
“We must put the needs of our citizens first.
“Important as economic reconstruction will be, economic interests at this time cannot take primacy over public health.
“Over 2500 of our fellow citizens have been affected and more than 900 have lost their lives across the island.
“That’s why the regulations are a vital necessity.
“The World Health Organisation has warned governments of the dangers that easing restrictions would raise, in terms of further spread of the infection.
“The fact is we have not beaten COVID-19. We face the possibility of new surges of this pandemic.
“All Ministers in the Executive agree these restrictions ought not to be removed a single day before it is safe to do so; but nor should they remain for a single day longer than necessary.”