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Concern at gatherings of young people in Derry - parents urged to play their part in keeping everyone safe

Reports of large groups meeting at council-owned pitches

foylearena

Young people have been gathering at pitches beside the Foyle Arena.

Parents are being urged to know their children's whereabouts after a number of cases of young people gathering at council-owned grass and artificial playing pitches at the weekend.

All playing facilities are currently closed to the public to reduce the spread of the Covid 19 virus however groups of young people have gained access to pitches at a number of venues including Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, the Foyle Arena and Kilfennan.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle, reminded households of the need to adhere to the strict stay at home guidelines to protect the NHS and save lives.

"I would like to appeal to parents and guardians to ensure children in their care are not accessing Council's grass and artificial pitches which are closed to the public," she said. 

"Unfortunately there have been a number of cases of groups gathering to play on these surfaces in recent days, often gaining access by climbing high walls and fences, which poses obvious dangers.

"I appreciate that it can be difficult to remain at home for long periods, particularly as the weather has improved in recent days but I would appeal directly to our young people not to congregate and to limit your physical activity to a walk, run or cycle with members of your household once a day."

The Mayor went on to remind the wider public of the need to stay at home and away from others from outside their household, including friends and family.

"The coming days and weeks will see the anticipated peak of cases of Covid 19 locally so I would urge you to protect the NHS and save lives by doing everything asked of you to reduce the spread of this highly contagious virus.

"When we reduce and eliminate our day to day contact with people, we will reduce the spread of the infection.

"That is why now more than ever it is imperative that we remain in our homes unless shopping for basic necessities, taking one form of exercise a day with members of your household or travelling to work in essential front line services where it is not possible to work from home.

"If you are outside your home, exercise social distancing by making sure you are two metres apart from anyone outside your household, when you are home, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face."

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