A joint warning on the growing threat of the Delta variant of Covid-19 has been issued by the Chief Medical Officers in Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Sir Michael McBride and Dr Tony Holohan issued the statement after discussing the evolving profile of Covid-19 across the island.
After the meeting, both Chief Medical Officers (CMO) reminded those intending to travel across the border in the coming days to be alert to the current Covid levels in local areas so they can avoid any activities that put their families at risk of infection.
On Saturday, Northern Ireland’s Department of Health also reported 158 new positive cases of Covid-19 but said no further deaths have been reported.
NI #COVID19 data:— Department of Health (@healthdpt) June 19, 2021
📊158 positive cases and no deaths have been reported in past 24 hours.
💉1,932,702 vaccines administered in total.
The dashboard will be updated on Monday 21 June.
A particular concern raised by both CMOs was the growing threat of the Delta variant, with the public urged not to relax their guard and continue to follow the public health advice.
The statement added: “Now is a time for continued caution in order to maintain the progress made to date in each jurisdiction, until more people are fully vaccinated. People who are not yet protected through vaccination should remain extra vigilant, avoid crowds or large events, meet up with others outdoors where possible and come forward for testing if they develop any symptoms of Covid-19.”
It follows a decision by the Northern Ireland Executive to delay any further easing of lockdown restrictions until next month over the rapid spread of the Delta variant.
It had been expected that 10 people from two households could meet indoors and live music would return to venues selling food and drink.
The Executive will now review the current rules on July 1 before making any changes on July 5.