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Rate of coronavirus spread up as restrictions eased, police warn

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd urged members of the public to make sensible and informed decisions about their conduct.

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Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd reminded people about social distancing (David Young/PA)

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd reminded people about social distancing (David Young/PA)

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd reminded people about social distancing (David Young/PA)

The rate of coronavirus spread has increased as restrictions have eased in Northern Ireland, a senior police officer warned.

PSNI Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd urged members of the public to make sensible and informed decisions about their conduct.

Significant numbers have been reported at north coast resorts in recent days.

The latest data available shows that the R-number, which was flattening/falling, has actually increased again as restrictions have been easedAssistant Chief Constable Alan Todd

Mr Todd said: “I understand that as time goes on, and with the current spell of good weather, some people may be tempted to get out and about and make the most of the sunshine.

“However, as a police service, our key role is to support our public health colleagues and the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure we all play our part in stopping the spread of the virus and help save lives.

“The latest data available shows that the R-number, which was flattening/falling, has actually increased again as restrictions have been eased.

“This means that every one of us needs to make informed and sensible decisions about our conduct over the coming days to ensure that we are protecting our own health and the health of others.”

Over the weekend officers will be increasing their patrols, particularly around beauty spots, resorts and transport hubs, focusing on crowds gathering, alcohol consumption in public places and speeding and drink driving on the roads.

Mr Todd added: “The public should be well aware of the advice from our public health partners and the Government about social distancing and movement.

“And, on that basis, we would encourage people not to drive to local beauty spots or popular destinations for their daily exercise, as others may have the same idea and social distancing may not be achievable.

“Each and every one of us has a personal responsibility to follow the Northern Ireland Executive regulations and do everything we can to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

PA