Farry concerned over UK Government’s mixed messaging on lockdown

Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MP has said he is concerned the UK Government’s mixed messaging over the pandemic lockdown will only cause confusion in Northern Ireland.

Dr Farry was speaking after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Government’s slogan in England would now be ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’.

“While taking into account what other jurisdictions in the UK and the island of Ireland are doing regarding the lockdown in their own areas, it is important Northern Ireland makes its own decisions based on local circumstances,” said the North Down MP.

“I spoke to the Prime Minister earlier on a cross-party call, expressing directly Alliance’s concerns over the Government’s changes to its communications, and its altering the stay home message to stay alert.

“There is a concern the UK Government has acted without consultation with the devolved administrations, or thinking about the potential impact and knock-on implications its decisions for England will have here. There will undoubtedly be people in Northern Ireland now left confused as to the best way to approach staying safe during this crisis.

“My appeal to them is to reiterate the stay at home message. It is the best way to protect the NHS and save lives. I know it is difficult for us all but the evidence is it is suppressing the spread of the disease and even small changes to the number of people leaving their home can have a big impact on the amount of people who catch this deadly disease.”