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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has urged people in the North West to abide by the new Covid-19 restrictions announced today to save the lives of their friends, family and neighbours.

Speaking after additional restrictions were announced for Derry and Strabane, Colum Eastwood MP said:

“I know the last six months have been incredibly difficult. Everyone has made immense personal sacrifices to keep themselves and their families safe. People have lost mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters to this virus and have given up the chance to say a proper goodbye in many cases.

“People in the North West have been very good at following the public health advice, even when it appeared confusing or felt frustrating. But if we’re honest, the cautious attitude we all took at the start has slipped – people aren’t always wearing facemasks in shops, unnecessary journeys have become routine again and compliance is not as good as it should be. The hard truth is that unless people change their behaviour immediately, we’re going to lose more friends, neighbours and family members.

“These restrictions will be challenging. People in our communities are naturally sociable, entrepreneurial and active. But they are absolutely necessary to relieve pressure on our health service and protect each other. Derry and Strabane has shown that it can step up when needed, it is now needed again and I know that people will do all that they can.

“But this is a two way street. Government cannot restrict trading opportunities in the North West without additional support for businesses that will close and workers forced to be at home. I will be pressing very strongly for a support package to meet the needs of people in Derry and Strabane who are being asked to make more sacrifices.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom