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Keep fighting back against Covid 19 – Health Minister

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Stick to the rules on social distancing if you don’t want a ban on outdoor exercise.

That’s the message from Health Minister Robin Swann as Northern Ireland begins another week of staying at home and keeping our distance.

Commenting on the latest PHA Covid-19 surveillance report, Mr Swann said: “My deepest sympathies go to the friends and families of those who have died.”

On the issue of social distancing restrictions, he said: “Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock has warned that a ban on exercise outside the home would be considered if the current restrictions are being flouted.

“No one would want to take such a measure if it could be avoided. It can be prevented if everyone continues to do the right thing. That means staying at home, only going out if it’s necessary and keeping our distance if we do have to go out.

“I am very encouraged by the extent to which people across Northern Ireland are following the guidance. The message for this week is: stick with the fightback against Covid-19. We must never let our guard down if we want to protect ourselves, protect our health service and save lives. Any hints of complacency and impatience must be strongly resisted.

The Minister added: “I am keenly aware that any further restrictions on outdoor exercise could fall heavily on particular sections of our community, including those who do not have access to a garden or other outdoor space.

Further restrictions could also have consequences in terms of mental and physical well-being.

“That’s another reason why we must stick with the fightback and all that it involves. Stick together, stay apart and look after each other.

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