ANTRIM and Newtownabbey Council has activated a range of changes in response to the latest COVID restrictions.
The Executive’s ‘circuit breaker’ has forced council to amend a number of its services.
And while some have inevitably closed, it is currently not on the same scale as the early days of lockdown.
Leisure Centres, for example, will remain open for individual gym training, and individual and family swims.
All fitness classes and outdoor sports, however, will be cancelled, but the Council is launching MORE Live. Available free of charge to all residents via the Council website, this virtual programme of streamed classes is designed to bring the intensity of the workout studio to your living room.
Outdoor pitches and courts will be closed too, but outdoor bowling greens will remain open.
Galleries and exhibition spaces at Clotworthy House - which ironically was presenting an exhibition inspired by the pandemic - are closed, however the shop remains open and the café is available for take-aways only.
Caravan Parks will be closed ‘except for emergencies’.
Weddings, civil partnerships and funerals will see numbers restricted to just 25 people.
Community Centres will remain open where their use is for childcare and services that can be delivered on an individual basis where appropriate social distancing measures are in place.
All Council parks, play parks and public toilet facilities will remain open.
As well as the amendments to public facilities, the Council is supporting local businesses with a more visible presence across the towns.
Over the next few weeks a team of Town Centre Marshalls will be out and about encouraging shoppers to wear their face coverings and maintain social distancing while in the shops.
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Jim Montgomery has urged local people to respect the restrictions to help curb the relentless spread of the virus.
“We are at a critical point, but the power is in our own hands to control the spread of this virus.
“If we each take personal responsibility and do the basic things like wash hands, wear a face covering, and keep our distance, we will reduce the number of cases, and crucially support and protect our NHS and other frontline workers.
“I recognise these latest restrictions represent significant disruption to our daily lives, but I would strongly urge people across our Borough, they must respect them.”