The HSE, An Garda Síochána and local authorities have called on the people of Cork to be vigilant over the Easter break.
The inter-agency call for people to stay safe and prevent the spread of Covid-19 comes as the bank holiday approaches.
The HSE, An Garda Síochána, Cork City Council and Cork County Council have worked together to coordinate the community response to the Covid-19 crisis for more than a year and are now asking the people of Cork to Hold Firm for a little longer.
Acting Director of Public Health for the region, Dr Anne Sheahan, said that she understands that “it will be tempting to visit friends and family” this weekend in particular but that Christmas has shown us that household visits greatly speed up the spread of the virus.
“We are now close to a major ramping up of the vaccination roll-out, and we need to hold on just a little longer,” she said.
Dr Sheahan also reminded people that when it comes to Covid-19, it’s always safer to be outdoors.
This weekend, think about making the most of what’s within your 5k with walks and picnics but remember that if you happen to meet a friend or family member while you’re out, you still need to keep a two-metre distance.
“All indoor interactions carry risks, the more people involved the greater the risk,” she warned.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh appealed to the people of Cork “to do their bit to protect frontline workers and the more vulnerable people in our community”.
“I know we would all like nothing more than to celebrate with our family and friends, but we are now at a critical juncture where we must continue in our efforts to protect not only ourselves but those nearest and dearest to us.
“The people of Cork have shown incredible resilience over the past year and we will soon join together to celebrate milestones and achievements. In the meantime, please continue to follow public health guidelines,” he said.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, echoed Lord Mayor Joe Kavanagh’s comments and said that although Easter is traditionally a time of celebration with family and friends, that “we must refrain from doing so this year to preserve the progress we have made over the past number of months”.
“This bank holiday weekend, remember public health advice, together our actions will curb the spread of Covid 19,” she said.
An Garda Síochána is also appealing to the public this Easter to continue to follow the public health guidelines by staying home and staying safe.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn said that individuals have the power to protect themselves and their communities.
“The best way of keeping safe is to stay home. If you are going out, please only undertake necessary journeys and exercise within 5km of your home. An Garda Síochána’s high visibility checkpoints continue throughout the region. This will also include patrols at local amenity sites.
The vast majority of people are playing their part in helping prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, we are still finding groups gathering, house parties.
"This is not just a breach of regulations, but it also creates a risk for those attending and everyone they come into contact with afterwards. This Easter, please stay at home and stay safe,” he said.