Armstrong: Implementation must follow science as roadmap for lockdown exit revealed

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has welcomed the publication of a route out of lockdown for Northern Ireland, saying the document finally provides hope of what the future might look like here.

The MLA for Strangford secured confirmation from the First and deputy First Minister that the science would continue to shape how and when the plan was implemented, meaning by staying home now we are actively helping Northern Ireland move towards stage one, and the possibility of seeing immediate family and small groups of friends.

She said: “From the single mother or father, to someone of any age living alone and families missing extended members, this has been a tough time mentally for so many. I’m glad where plans in other regions have failed, today we have a road map that recognises the need for social interaction.

“The key will be in what comes next and implementation of this plan, as outlined, will be critical when it comes to turning the hope created today into reality for what our new normal future will look like.

“I welcome the fact that there is a comprehensive plan in place for testing and tracing as we move into the next stages and that the Executive has opted not to put dates against each stage, allowing themselves, instead, to be guided by science, the correct course of action.

“The message is clear – our actions now will directly impact how we navigate forward. Alliance has always said we must take our lead from the medical facts and when it is safe to move to stage one that’s what will happen. But for now the message is still Stay Home. Save Lives. Together we can do this.”