Executive urges public to stay at home and save lives over Easter

Date published: 10 April 2020

The Executive has reinforced the need for people not to go out over Easter, telling the public that by staying at home they will save lives.

In a joint video message, Ministers said staying at home is the best gift people can give to doctors and nurses, and all those working on the frontline in the fight back against Covid-19.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “Easter is a special time for families and we understand how difficult this year will be for people. But this Easter, even though we can’t be together, we can all still do something special. We can help to save lives by staying at home, protecting the most vulnerable, protecting our frontline workers, and protecting our health service.

“We should remember that the message of Easter is all about hope. We know and trust that these difficult times will pass. By staying home this weekend, and the days to come, we will protect each other and our whole community and prevent heartbreak being brought to someone’s door.”

The First Minister added: “I would remind people that the PSNI will have a strong presence on the ground over the Easter period and beyond, and they will take action against anyone who is flouting the rules on non-essential travel and social distancing. So I urge everyone to please stay at home and don’t go out unless you absolutely have to.”

The deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “We are depending on our healthcare staff and other frontline workers to get us through this time of crisis. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude, and the best way we can show them how much we appreciate what they are doing is by staying at home.

“Easter is normally a time when people come together and spend time with each other. But this isn’t a normal Easter, and if we behave as normal then more people will lose their lives. I know this isn’t easy, but it won’t last forever. So please keep your resolve and don’t go out unless it’s essential. It’s in your gift to save lives.”

The deputy First Minister added: “You must only go out of your home: to shop for basic necessities once a day at the most; to take exercise no more than once a day, alone, or with your household; for medical reasons for yourself, or if providing care or to support a vulnerable person; and to travel to essential work if it absolutely cannot be done from home.”

Notes to editors: 

1. The Executive video message is available on the @niexecutive Twitter.
2. The video can also be downloaded at: https://youtu.be/TegX34wO6C8.
3. A subtitled version is available at: https://youtu.be/-BPbdZIzBPg.
4. Media enquiries should be directed to The Executive Office: Press.Office@executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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