Public appear to heed 'stay home' advice

Public appear to heed 'stay home' advice

Police officers out and about on the north coast on Sunday.

By Damian Mullan


By Damian Mullan


RESORTS across the north coast were barely recognisable at the weekend as people appeared to heed the advice and stayed at home.

Portstewart, Portrush, Castlerock, Ballycastle and Cushendall were noticeably much more quiet than normal on a sunny Sunday.

Even the roads were quiet: a photograph taken by one of our reporters around lunchtime at Cloughmills showed a deserted A26 -  the main route to the Causeway Coast.

It was a similar picture the previous evening as popular areas, such as around Portrush Harbour, remained unusually quiet.

Late on Saturday night, the NI Executive announced sweeping new powers to help combat the spread of coronavirus, including the right to compel the closure of certain premises and banning gatherings of more than two people.

PSNI officers will work to ensure guidelines contained in the Coronavirus Bill Emergency Powers act are adhered to.

"From today, the public will notice a change of police style and approach at tourist locations and local open areas to encourage people to adhere to the regulations," explained Chief Constable Simon Byrne.

"The Police Service is working in partnership with our colleagues in the NI Executive Office, the Department of Health and agencies across the public sector, including our outstanding health service workers 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.

"Finally, stay safe, and take personal responsibility to protect and support those on the front line from across the public sector who are providing vital services at this time of crisis," he added.

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