Dr Tom Black chair of the British Medical Association in NI, says that, while the easing of restrictions will be welcomed by many, “there is a very worrying narrative developing that ‘this is all over’.”
He added: “While numbers are still coming down, albeit slowly, Covid-19 is still very much circulating in the community.
“As further restrictions ease in the next few months, alongside restrictions in southern Ireland lifting, and despite the successful roll out of the vaccination programme, there still needs to be some caution. The real test will come over the summer if people choose to go on holiday and not follow proper procedures to test and isolate when they get home.
“I am aware that current travel guidance is somewhat confusing, particularly in relation to holidaying in southern Ireland, so we would welcome clearer guidance from the Department of Health.”
Turning to the Indian variant of Covid-19, Dr Black says, thankfully, case numbers of the strain are low in NI.
He added: “There is likely to be other variants emerging over the next few months and we do not know if the various vaccines will be effective against those, so anything we can do to continue to minimise the spread of Covid-19 is welcome.”