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We must do more to make Covid public messaging engaging, says Armstrong

Alliance Communities Spokesperson, Kellie Armstrong MLA, has said the First and Deputy First Ministers could do more to make the public message around Covid-19 engaging.

The MLA for Strangford said Northern Ireland has a fantastic creative industry which could compliment the podium announcements coming from OFMdFM, especially as we move towards a worrying few weeks in the battle against Covid-19.

Kellie added: “The podium announcements are where we hear the changing regulations and whilst factual and important, they do not always capture the public in a way a simultaneous communications campaign using some of our fantastic local artists could.

“Northern Ireland has a fantastic arts and creative industries sector – wouldn’t it be great to see this involved in helping to promote our Covid messages across all media currently going unutilised by OFMdFM, especially at a time when the number of positive cases are increasing at an alarming rate. Clearer, engaging messaging that reaches out to all ages can only help in our fight against this hateful virus.

“With Christmas on the horizon, we all need to realise what is at stake. I want to be able to spend the festive period with my family – but for this to happen we all need to work as one united community, adhering to the guidelines, wearing a face covering, washing our hands frequently and maintaining social distancing.

“Sadly, with the number of people infected by the virus rising as they are this message simply isn’t getting through from the podium, the message has become stale, is being lost and we all face an uncertain future. Let’s seize the opportunity to liven up this message. After all if Pastor Begbie, the Derry Girls, or even May McFettridge spoke to reiterate FMDFM messaging, it might help give us the boost to keep going over the coming weeks and months.

“We are all in this together so let’s start living with this virus than just wait for it to pass.”