NOT A GOOD START FOR OUR BELOVED SPORT THIS SEASON, it could bring our spring classic’s and races in danger of not running, and hard decisions will have to be made by the organisers in the coming weeks, as no clear view when it gonna be eased!

The BBC told us in N-Ireland yesterday: The executive backed the health minister’s proposal on Thursday and will review the move on 18 February. But ministers were also told that restrictions may have to remain in place until after the Easter holidays. A lockdown closing non-essential retailers and encouraging employees to work from home began after Christmas. Family gatherings are prohibited and people have been ordered to stay at home for all but essential reasons. Schools are closed to most pupils until after February’s half-term but a paper looking at reopening will be put to ministers at next week’s executive meeting. The lockdown came in response to a spike in the number of cases of coronavirus, which followed a relaxation of some rules in the run-up to Christmas. ‘Hard-won gains are at risk’
First Minister Arlene Foster said extending the restrictions was an “appropriate and necessary response” to tackle the “imminent threat” posed by Covid-19. She said she understood it would be difficult for many people to accept, given the uncertainty facing families and businesses, but added: “To not press forward would risk all of the hard-won gains.” The first and deputy first ministers were right to state just how tough this decision will be for many people. But there’s an acceptance among the public that restrictions would have to be extended, given how bad things are in our hospitals. Their decision also suggests politicians have perhaps learned from the last wave of the pandemic when restrictions were turned on and off sporadically, and the impact that had both on cases and the messaging. They’re not alone in sustaining tough lockdown measures, with other UK nations and the Republic of Ireland also keeping their restrictions in place for several more weeks. Beyond that, it is thought health officials also want to ensure the vaccination program is also “well advanced” before any restrictions are relaxed.
The hope is that, by spring, the picture will have improved significantly. Until then the price we are paying for relaxations before Christmas looks likely to keep rising.

Feature photo and the one above from David mc Veigh (BP Media Team) The good ol’ times