The Irish and Northern Irish governments have urged people to stay away from each other this Mother’s Day.
First Minister for Nothern Ireland Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill made a joint appeal for people to respect social distancing, while Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris called on people to find other ways to “let your mom know how much she means to you.”
Foster and O’Neill said that it would be a Mother’s Day “like no other.”
Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill urged people to observe social distancing this Mother’s Day and avoid all risks.
“Everyone loves their mummy. I know that I do. And on Mother’s Day, we normally make a big effort to spoil them and to spend time with them.
“This year, we have to do it differently. This year, we are asking you not to put your mummy or anyone else’s mummy at risk.
“Please maintain the social distancing the Public Health Agency have asked you to do. Please follow the public health advice to help protect yourself and help protect others.”
A message from First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill ahead of #MothersDay💐
Thank you to all our frontline staff working to keep us safe.
— NI Executive (@niexecutive) March 21, 2020
Both O’Neill and the DUP’s Arlene Foster also paid tribute to the healthcare workers on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19, especially to moms who would be working on Mother’s Day.
Simon Harris, meanwhile, also called on people to observe social distancing in a tweet on Sunday.
He said that he was avoiding visiting his own mother in order to keep her and his family safe. Harris reminded the Irish people that they would all have “brilliant” family days when the COVID-19 crisis is over.
All my life my mum has been by my side every step of the way. Happy Mother’s Day Mum. Love you. Today I’m staying away from visiting to help keep you & your family & our country safe. Please do the same. We’ll all have brilliant family days when this is done #coroanvirus #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/c43lnu6Gck
— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) March 22, 2020
Governments and health authorities around the world are advising people to limit the number of social interactions they have in order to curb the growing spread of COVID-19.
There have been 785 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland and 108 in Northern Ireland – a combined total of 893 on the island of Ireland. There have been four deaths.