‘We want people to take the good of doing the things they have missed’
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said that she was glad people will now have the opportunity to enjoy some of the things they missed most after jointly announcing that a huge tranche of the COVID restrictions are to be eased from Monday. The deputy First Minister said that this was “a day of positive progress on our road to recovery”, and urged people to stay safe as life returns to some semblance of normality next week.
“As we begin to rebuild, we are very much focused on personal, societal and economic wellbeing,” she said.
Ms. O’Neill added: “This latest set of easements will have wide-reaching benefits for individuals, families, businesses and workers. And after what has been an incredibly tough time for everyone, we want people to take the good of being able to do the things they have missed; whether that’s a meal out with friends, a visit to your parents’ house, a family day trip, or a dance class.
“As we look forward to better times, it is crucial that everyone continues taking steps to stop the virus from spreading. The last year has taught us that we can’t take anything for granted, so we are urging everyone to stay safe, be careful and help protect this good progress.”
First Minister Arlene Foster meanwhile said she was “pleased that we are in a position to confirm the opening of more parts of our society from Monday”.
“After an anxious wait for many, this is great news for our people and our economy. I want to thank the public for their patience and perseverance and I commend all those sectors who have worked diligently to prepare for restart,” Mrs Foster said.
“There is no doubt that the impacts of the pandemic over the last year will continue to be felt deeply. But in moving forward, there is hope.
“Now is a time to look ahead and to enjoy these hard won freedoms safely. We must continue to do all we can as a community to keep ourselves and each other safe and I appeal to everyone to be cautious to help ensure we can keep heading in the right direction.”