Social distancing: New badge launched in NI reminds people to keep away

Northern Ireland health authorities have released a new badge people can wear to remind others to keep their distance during the coronavirus pandemic.

Health Minister Robin Swann shows off the new badge
Health Minister Robin Swann shows off the new badge

The new badge, which features a bright yellow shield and arrows to indicate the need for space, is being promoted by Asda supermarkets, health Trusts, GPs and local pharmacies.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “The badge can be worn by anyone to signify that they wish to maintain social distancing and it is not meant to be an identifier of someone who has been shielding or may have any specific health condition.

“This is an opportunity for members of the public to become more involved in promoting the social distancing message and to help our efforts to halt the spread of Covid. There is a very simple message behind the scheme – show your concern and respect for other people by maintaining social distancing.”

He added: ““It remains as important as ever to follow the public health advice – this includes washing our hands, wearing a face covering and keeping our distance. The badges and posters will be a helpful prompt to maintain distance.”

The Chief Executive of the Patient and Client Council, Vivian McConvey, said: “Our natural inclination is to embrace people when we see them, it’s part of our nature here, and at a time when we all really need some contact, we must go the extra mile to remain safe and be mindful of keeping others we care about safe too.

“The Distance Aware campaign launched by the Minister will help with the collective efforts on this front. We welcome this initiative which provides a polite visual reminder to those we meet to ask them to respect our space.”