Ministers remind the public to continue to stay at home and stay safe

Date published: 07 January 2021

The Infrastructure, Health and Justice Ministers are urging the public to stay at home, stay safe and protect the health service as new restrictions are introduced following the large rise in new Covid-19 cases.

DfI latest news
DfI latest news

The public are asked to adhere to the new restrictions being introduced from midnight as Covid-19 cases continue to rise.

Commenting on the latest traffic flow information, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: 

“Since the first lockdown in March last year it is clear that people in Northern Ireland have proved resilient in helping to protect the health service, family and friends by following health advice and staying at home unless making an essential journey.

“It is encouraging to see that when compared with figures before lockdown in February last year, there was a reduction last week of approximately 58% in the weekday traffic flow figures. Figures during the curfew period indicate higher reductions and this suggests that the message to stay at home and stay safe resonates with the public.

“I would urge everyone to continue to follow the regulations and not let our guard slip by staying at home to save lives and only make journeys when absolutely necessary in line with the current guidance. By doing so all of us will help to slow the spread of this virus.”

Justice Minister, Naomi Long said:

“Each and every one of us has our part to play if we are to continue to stop the spread of coronavirus. These figures are particularly encouraging and proof of what we can all do to make a real difference.

“It’s often second nature to nip out in the car but we must all stop and ask ourselves if that journey is essential. Where possible, we must all stay at home.

“Staying home means you will not fall foul of the law. Staying home means you will protect your loved ones; and staying home means you will save lives.”

Health Minister Robin Swann said: 

“I am heartened by the reduction in traffic across all routes during the period after Christmas.  This shows a willingness by the majority of the public to do the right thing, and for that I thank them. 

"This data shows a significant drop in traffic from 26 December, indicating a compliance with the curfew.  I sincerely hope everyone continues to listen to the public health advice during the next phase of restrictions.  I know this is not easy but I ask everyone to stick with it for the sake of loved ones, the most vulnerable and our health service.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. See traffic flow figures available at: Traffic flow figures. These are updated weekly.
  2. The figures are based on average traffic flows at 20 sites across NI. Figures are provided for weekday and weekend flows since Monday 16 March 2020, compared to a baseline of traffic flows from Feb/March 2018 and 2019.
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at: Out of hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
  4. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure

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