Avoid all but necessary travel across the border say health experts

Appeal to teenagers and those in their 20s and 30s to reduce their social contacts

Avoid all but necessary travel across the border say  health experts

The Lifford-Strabane crossing which has been the subject of concern in terms of people crossing from one area to another during the Covid-19 crisis

Everyone should avoid all but necessary travel across the border and teenagers and those in their 20s and 30s in particular should reduce their social contacts.

That was the stark message from acting chief medical officer for the Republic of Ireland, Dr Ronan Glynn and the chief medical officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride after they met this morning, (Friday), to review the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking following the meeting Dr Glynn and Dr McBride in a statement said given the current number of new cases in Donegal and neighbouring areas of NI in Derry, Strabane and Fermanagh, they appealed to everyone to avoid all but necessary travel across the border.

"It is also recommended that employers on both sides of the border make every effort to facilitate employees to work from home in so far as is possible

"We realise that for those living in border areas this will not be welcome news but we must prevent further spread of this virus and we can only do so by working together to protect each other.”

The meeting discussed the growing prevalence of the virus in both jurisdictions and underlined the need for ongoing cooperation between NI and the ROI and respective public health teams under the existing Memorandum of Understanding.

Close collaboration between the relevant authorities in NI and the ROI will continue and be strengthened in the coming days to address the concerning trend in case numbers on both sides of the border, not alone in Donegal and Derry, but also in other areas along the border where the profile of the disease continues to evolve.

The CMOs jointly appealed to the public across the island to continue to follow public health advice to keep themselves and others safe.

They noted specific concern with regard to the significant proportion of cases in young people in both Donegal and Derry, and appealed to teenagers and those in their 20s and 30s in particular to reduce their social contacts.

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