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Mayors join in cross border safety message to curb the spread of COVID-19

25 September 2020

The Mayors of Derry/Strabane and Donegal have joined together in calling for compliance to new restrictions by urging people in both Council areas to do all they can to curb the spread of the Corona Virus across the North West region.

 

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Brian Tierney joined with An Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Rena Donaghy, pleading with people in Derry/ Strabane and Donegal to adhere to the new guidelines introduced by the respective governments on both sides of the border, saying we must do everything we can to prevent the further spread of the virus.

 

Last night the Irish Government announced that Donegal will be placed on Level 3 restrictions for a three week period while earlier in the week the NI Executive introduced additional restrictions across all parts of Northern Ireland including Derry and Strabane in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

 

In a joint statement the Mayor and An Cathaoirleach appealed to the people of the North West to be responsible at this critical juncture.

 

They said:  “We fully understand how difficult the past number of months have been for many. We have been separated from our loved ones, prevented from paying our respects to our dead and restrictions placed on our social interactions, unfortunately the rate of infection in both our Council areas is causing us great concern and we need your continued support and co-operation to get through it. We must note the alarming increase in positive tests and keep this in mind in everything we do.

 

“We all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe. Please adhere to social distancing measures, wash your hands regularly,  wear a face mask where required and reduce your social interactions.  We appeal to you all to use your common sense on issues like travel, shopping and socialising,  work from home if you can, and ask yourself how important a journey or other planned activity is and how much additional risk would it bring to you or others and most importantly reduce your contact with people.  By taking these steps and acting responsibly we can all play our part in preventing the spread of the virus across our region.”

 

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Brian Tierney said we had reached a critical stage in dealing with the pandemic. He said while the restrictions were disappointing, they were necessary as the figures show a marked increase in positive cases in both Council areas over the past week. He said it was important people pulled together in the coming days and weeks to get the numbers down and to do all they can to curb the spread of the virus.

 

He said the decision by the respective Governments to extend the restrictions was made in the interest of the health and safety of the wider community and in response to a recent rise in the number of cases in these areas.

 

He said: “We all need to do our part. The people of Derry Strabane and Donegal Council areas must unite in the fight against the spread of this virus and we take a responsible cross border approach to this. I am appealing to those of you living in Derry Strabane and Donegal to adhere to the guidelines and to act responsibly by reducing your contacts between people in household settings and social interactions. Positive cases are increasing and the onus is on us to do all we can to adhere to the guidelines and do all we can to protect ourselves, our family and our community.”

 

An Cathaoirleach Cllr Rena Donaghy said news that Donegal has been placed on Level 3 restrictions was disappointing but the infection rate across the county was extremely worrying. She said the restrictions are necessary and are a proportionate response to the increasing number of positive cases.

 

She welcomed the joint approach taken by the two Councils in addressing the issue and said it was important that they worked on a cross border and collaborative way to share messaging to keep people safe.

 

“We must take a step back and co-operate fully with the regulations and do what is necessary to keep people safe. We must continue to maintain social distancing, wash our hands and wear a face covering when required. I would also encourage people in both Council areas to download the contact tracing app and,  should you be advised to take a test, please do so as quickly as possible and follow all the guidance in relation to self-isolating and quarantine.”

 

Ends

 

Notes to Editor:

 

People living in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area and all other parts of NI are reminded of  the regulations as follows:

 

  • You must not allow people you do not live with into your home unless they are in your support bubble and you should allow no more than 6 people to gather in your garden, from no more than two households.

 

  • In relation to the restriction on no mixing of households in private dwellings there are a number of  exemptions in place to include bubbling with one other household. A bubble is when people who live alone are allowed to visit one other household indoors to form a small support unit called a bubble The bubble would therefore contain two households forming a single unit, that is the person living on their own and members of the other household, where social distancing between them would no longer be required. This enables the person who lives alone to visit, stay over and spend more time with the second household.

 

Other exemptions include:

-          Caring responsibilities including childcare

-          Essential maintenance

-          Supported living arrangements

-          Visits required for legal or medical purposes

-          Marriage or civil partnership ceremonies in a private dwelling where a partner is terminally ill

 

Further information on the additional restrictions in Northern Ireland, including frequently asked questions can be found on the NI Direct website athttps://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-and-localised-restrictions

For those living within the Donegal County Council area – the Level 3 restrictions are as follows –

From midnight on Friday September 25th, the county of Donegal will be placed on Level 3 under the Plan for Living with COVID-19.

The key messages being-

  • In your home or garden, you can have a maximum of 6 visitors from 1 other household.
  • No social/family gatherings should take place, with exemptions to this for weddings and funerals
  • No organised indoor gatherings should take place. Organised outdoor gatherings are permitted, up to a maximum of 15 people.
  • People living in Donegal should remain in the county (that is, they must not leave Donegal to travel either domestically or internationally), with the exception of those who must travel for work, education and other essential purposes.
  • People living outside of Donegal should not travel to Donegal, with the exception of those who must travel for work, education and other essential purposes.
  • People working in Donegal are asked to work from home unless absolutely necessary.
  • Schools, Early Learning and Childcare services should remain open. Adult and Higher Education Institutions should remain open, but are asked to review protective measures and take steps to limit congregation as much as possible.
  • You are asked to walk or cycle where possible so that public transport is available for use by essential workers and for essential work only

Read in full at

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/f9a0c-donegal-is-at-level-3/