AS Covid-19 positive cases in Fermanagh and Omagh increased fourfold in the past seven days from four cases to 16 cases, First Minister, Arlene Foster has warned of localised lockdowns in Northern Ireland.

This warning comes as one of the county’s largest employers confirmed two positive cases on their premise in Derrylin, while next of kin of a Fermanagh care home have been contacted over one positive case in the facility, and rumours continue to persist of pubs flouting lockdown rules in Enniskillen.

Speaking in Enniskillen yesterday, Mrs. Foster told The Impartial Reporter that localised lockdowns in Northern Ireland have not been ruled out and the matter will be further discussed in Stormont.

This all comes as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise across Northern Ireland – a worrying trend for decision-makers and this community.

Mrs. Foster said: “It may be that we will have to put in some localised restrictions – but that is something we will discuss tomorrow [Thursday].

“I think it was the Deputy Chief Medical Officer in England who said there is a creeping trend across the UK and, unfortunately, we are not escaping that trend.”

She made these comments after discussing the announcement from England that gatherings of over six people will be banned from Monday, September 14.

The First Minister spoke further about the impact of Covid-19 and said: “We are concerned about the rise of Covid-19. Fortunately, here in Fermanagh, numbers are still quite low but even here we see a number of cases developing. It is matter we will have to discuss.”

There has been a sharp rise in the number of cases amongst young people across Fermanagh with five people under 20 testing positive in the last seven days and seven under 40 testing positive in the same period.

The First Minister acknowledged the rise of cases in younger people and said: “Look, I know it’s very frustrating, particularly for young people because they want to meet their friends and they want to socialise together. But they should remember that all of the advice still remains around social distancing, hand washing, and wearing masks if you’re inside.”

“I know it’s frustrating because a lot of the young people may be asymptomatic and they don’t show any symptoms and they are not unwell but they should remember that they can spread it to older people and vulnerable people .I’m quite sure they wouldn’t want to do that. It’s an invisible thing and it is very difficult for people to stay alert and we need to make sure we beat it.”