HSE officials have warned people not to make a beeline for the border when the pubs re-open in Northern Ireland soon.

This week it came to light that outdoor eating and drinking will be allowed in Northern Ireland in mere days, and that pubs and hotels will be free to fully re-open in just over a month on May 24.

Meanwhile, the situation in the Republic is markedly more grim, with restrictions lasting well into the summer – outdoor drinking and dining will only be allowed from June, conditions allowing, and indoor will be permitted in July at the earliest.

As a result, HSE bosses have warned the general public to think twice before making a rush on the 6 counties, with HSE chief executive Paul Reid telling the Irish Mirror that people should “hold firm” and not be tempted to travel by the freedoms available in the North.

“From the HSE’s perspective, we strongly urge the public to continue to embrace the public health measures,” said Reid.

“We are on a really good trajectory out of this and we really want everybody to help see this home.

“The more we do that, particularly with the trajectory we’re on right now, it does give government a widening of choices and much wider choices in terms of the opening up of society and the economy.

“Strengthened border controls have been put in place, in terms of people moving between the border, and you can tell in terms of public messaging and visibility of that as well, so I expect that to continue.

“But ultimately we are really urging [people] to see that we’re so close to seeing this all the way home. We’d urge people to stick with it.”

“Again, from our perspective, we are just urging people to comply,” he said.
Dr. Colm Henry, the HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer, added: “Our advice strongly is for people to stay with the public health measures, which means don’t leave your county, or the State.”