Ministers issue statement aimed at ‘strengthening the message’ on mitigations for virus transmission as winter looms
Ministers for the Northern Ireland Executive have urged citizens in the country to “work from home where possible” in a bid to limit the transmission of coronavirus.
In a statement issued by the Stormont devolved administration this week, ministers said that “Covid-19 has once again taken a firm grip across our society [and] community transmission of the virus is increasing”.
To help minimise opportunities for the virus to be transmitted, the government advice asks that workers – and their employers – adapt to remote-working options if they can.
“We are… strengthening the message that people should work from home where possible. More people working from home will help to reduce the risk of transmission both inside and outside the workplace,” the statement said. “We recognise that this may present challenges in some work areas and ask employees to work from home where they can, and advise employers to support this where possible.”
The updated guidance was issued in light of the fact that “the clear advice from public health experts is that an intervention is now required”, ministers said.
“Our people – individuals, families, communities and businesses – have been through so much during this pandemic,” they added. “Our collective aim is to reduce pressure on our hospitals, while allowing our society and the economy to remain open as fully and safely as possible. That means we all need to take action to prevent a worsening of the situation that would potentially require more severe measures.”
Other measures announced included an encouragement to citizens to “please take up the vaccine, including the booster, when it is offered to you”.
Residents of the Northern Ireland are also advised to limit social contact, meet outdoors, ventilate indoor meeting areas and wear face coverings, and to “keep washing your hands or use a sanitiser”.
“We understand how difficult this situation is for everyone and we will be stepping up our public information campaign to encourage everyone to keep following the advice,” the statement added. “None of us wanted to be in this position, but this pandemic is unpredictable and it continues to pose a threat. We have an opportunity to make a difference by working together to keep our society open and protect the health service.
“Let’s do everything we can to ensure we halt the spread of Covid as we approach Christmas.”