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Health Minister Robin Swann: Follow the three wise moves this Christmas

Health Minister Robin Swann has urged everyone across Northern Ireland to keep taking the simple steps that prevent the spread of Covid-19.

As Christmas Day approaches, public health advice has been summarised into “Three Wise Moves”.

The Minister said: “We must remain vigilant about the threat from Covid-19. The virus does not take time off. By strictly following public health advice, we can help reduce the risk to ourselves and others.

“The emergence of a new strain of the virus has underlined the need to keep up our guard at all times. We underestimate this virus at our peril.”

The Three Wise Moves are:

Remember the basics. Keep contacts to a minimum. Keep your distance from others, wash your hands, wear a face covering.

We’ve heard this advice countless times this year. But it’s just as relevant and just as important as it ever was. This is how we protect ourselves every day.

Be risk aware. Particular settings are known to help Covid-19 spread: crowded places, close-contact settings especially where people have close conversations, confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.

Remember over Christmas that social distancing can slip in familiar surroundings and familiar company. Watch out for old habits creeping back in. This cannot be a normal festive season.

If in doubt, walk away. If any situation makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, remove yourself from it. Put safety first and err on the side of caution. That’s particularly important in the next few days ahead of the lockdown, when shops and hospitality will still be open.

Just because we can do something, it doesn’t mean we have to. No set of regulations can cover every part of life or every activity. We all have to do our own risk assessments and make our own decisions on how best to keep each other safe.