Doctors urge people to stay at home over the Easter holiday

by BMA Northern Ireland Press release from BMA Northern Ireland.
Location: Northern Ireland
Published: Wednesday 8 April 2020
Contract and pen article illustration

Ahead of the Easter weekend and in advance of the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases, doctors across Northern Ireland are urging the population to continue to observe guidelines around social distancing and essential journeys.

Dr Tom Black, chair of the British Medical Association Northern Ireland, said: “We know that everyone is missing seeing and socialising with their families and friends during this time. And particularly at Easter when normally people would be able to visit family, take day trips together or enjoy an Easter Sunday lunch.

'However, we must all continue to work together to stop the spread of coronavirus and make sure our health system is able to manage and treat patients who become very unwell. That’s why I am appealing to the public not to visit family unnecessarily or see friends for the next few weeks until we have passed the peak of the outbreak.'

Dr Anne Carson, chair of the BMA NI consultants committee, added: “Doctors right across Northern Ireland from the most junior doctor to the most experienced consultant will be working right over Easter to care for patients, not only those with COVID-19 but with other illnesses as well.

'Every day I am hearing about health staff right across 'Northern Ireland who are working unbelievably hard and giving up time with their own families to make sure our hospitals and GP surgeries are staffed and ready to care for patients.

'Please help us to help your families by staying at home. Celebrate with just those in your own household. If you are out for a walk or cycle, observe social distancing. If you or someone in your family show symptoms, isolate for 14 days.

'This situation will not go on for ever, and we all look forward to the day when we can see our families again.'

Doctors have worked with BMA NI on short social media messages to share over the next few weeks encouraging the public to stay at home:

  • Dr Ursula Brennan, GP and lead on the Belfast Covid centre
  • Dr Alan Stout, GP and chair of the BMA NI GP committee
  • Dr Carole Cairns, paediatric haematologist and oncologist, Chair of the BMA NI SAS committee
  • Dr Dearbhail Lewis, consultant liaison psychiatrist and member of BMA NI consultants committee
  • Dr Paul Darragh, associate specialist in acute and critical care and member of the BMA Board of Science
  • Dr David Farren, consultant microbiologist and deputy chair of BMA NI consultants committee
  • Dr Magus Johnston, surgical trainee in plastic surgery and member of BMA NI junior doctors committee
  • Dr Leanne Davidson, associate specialist in critical care and member of the BMA NI SAS committee
  • Dr Gillian Turner, consultant anaesthetist and member of BMA NI consultants committee
  • Dr Sandra McAllister, consultant plastic surgeon
  • Dr Linda Johnston, consultant breast radiologist. 


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: 07408 805 067
Email: Grainne Brinkley ([email protected])