Health Minister Robin Swann has pleaded with the general public to stay at home over the Easter holiday weekend.
And he stressed that those flouting public health advice have no right joining in the weekly applause for care workers.
“Please don’t be tempted into letting down your guard over Easter. Our health and social care staff are relying on us all to keep doing the right thing.
“The weekly Thursday night applause is so important and heartening, but it is not sufficient by itself. We have to keep following the social distancing restrictions. The vast majority of people are doing so, and I thank them for it.
“But I am urging the small majority ignoring the restrictions to think again for the sake of themselves and their loved ones. Don’t be a hypocrite tonight by applauding care workers and then letting them down by your actions.”
Mr Swann added: “The social distancing measures will stay in place for as long as they are needed and will be strengthened further if required.
“They are starting to make an impact. However, it is still early days and there will be many difficult weeks and months ahead.”
The Minister concluded: “As we head into the Easter weekend, the message remains the same. Stay at home – do not go out unless it’s absolutely necessary. Keep your distance if you do have to leave your home. Keep washing your hands and keep fighting back against Covid-19.”