Responding to today’s decision by the Northern Ireland government to move from two metre physical distancing to one metre where appropriate mitigations are made, Chair of BMA’s Northern Ireland Council, Dr Tom Black said: “This announcement will be welcomed by many sections of the population here, but it has to be reiterated that this virus is very much still circulating in the community and will be for some time.
“Relaxing the physical distance rule to one meter will expose people to greater risks of getting COVID-19. However, given the prevalence of the virus is lower in Northern Ireland than in other parts of the UK, this change to social distancing is acceptable only if accompanied by a clear and strong recommendation from our government that people should wear appropriate face coverings in all indoor spaces outside of their own homes and in any circumstances outside of the home where there is potential contact at less than two meters.
“We also want to see how the Northern Ireland government will measure the impact of this latest relaxation and to show there are clear and robust measures to ensure these changes do not result in more people becoming infected, ill, or die; or contribute to a second spike which could overwhelm the health service should that occur this winter.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
For further information please contact:
Phone: 028 9026 9673
Mobile: 074 0880 5067
Email: Grainne Brinkley ([email protected])