By Q Radio News
Members of the public are being urged not to venture outside this weekend amid fears that warmer weather could tempt people to breach lockdown restrictions.
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd is urging people to exercise responsibly and reminding us that travel for fitness purposes is not an acceptable reason to be out and about.
“With warmer weather forecast and the longer, lighter days following the clocks changing, many people will want to get out and about and enjoy the fresh air this weekend so I am urging everyone to continue to follow the health advice; stay at home to prevent the spread of infection," he said.
“We understand the importance of exercise and fresh air, not only for our physical health but also for good mental health, which is vital in these challenging and anxious times – but please do so responsibly."
He has reminded people to only leave their homes when it is "absolutely essential" and said it is encouraging that the "vast majority" of people appear to be following the health guidelines.
“The new health care regulations allow you to leave home in order to exercise," he added.
"When it comes to travel it is a reasonable excuse to travel for the purpose of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services where it not possible for that person to work or provide those services from their home.
“It is also a reasonable excuse to travel for essential matters such as to seek medical assistance, obtain basic necessities including food and medical supplies, provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person, donate blood or to attend a funeral of a member of your household or close family member.
“The legislation does not however provide that you may travel for the purpose of exercise and therefore like our colleagues in health, we would advise you not to do this."
ACC Todd said the PSNI is working in partnership with colleagues in the NI Executive Office, the Department of Health and agencies across the public sector, to jointly fight the spread of the virus.
"We cannot do this unless the public adhere to the new measures, therefore I am calling on everyone in Northern Ireland to work with us, use your common sense and only leave your house if absolutely necessary,” he concluded.
The UK Prime Minister made a similar appeal earlier as he confirmed he still has a fever after being diagnosed with COVID-19 a week ago.
Another quick update from me on our campaign against #coronavirus.— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) April 3, 2020
You are saving lives by staying at home, so I urge you to stick with it this weekend, even if we do have some fine weather.#StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/4GHmJhxXQ0
For guidance – details around the restrictions around movement introduced by the new Covid-19 regulations can be found at: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/