LIMAVADY’S oldest public house has closed “until further notice” in a bid to keep its customers safe and support health workers' efforts to contain the Coronavirus.
And the community has joined forces to ensure that the elderly and most vulnerable receive vital food and medical supplies.
Many social events have been cancelled including the Trench Memorial Flute Band Coffee Morning which was due to be held on Saturday (March 21) and a Variety Concert planned at Ballynarrig Orange Hall on Friday (March 20).
In a social media post, Frank Owens' Bar, on the town's Main Street, said: “In light of the current global health crisis and in support of the brave efforts of our health staff to contend with the rapid speed of COVID-19, Frank Owens’ Bar will close until further notice.
“The health and well being of our staff, patrons and the general population is now paramount. Considering the layout of our bar we cannot implement the guidelines advised and therefore we cannot in good conscience continue to operate in a responsible manner whilst endangering the health and well being of our staff, patrons and their relatives.
“We will continue to monitor the situation daily and act accordingly. Thank you for your loyalty and support. Stay safe.”
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Meanwhile the Thatch Bar on Catherine Street said: “ due to the health crisis and the rapid spread of COVID—19, The Thatch Bar will be closed on St Patrick's day for safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers, as we could not implement the government guidelines towards crowd control and safety!
“This decision was not taken lightly. We as the Murray family will continue to monitor the outbreak of COVID-19.
“Thank you for your continued custom and support."
Lucille's Tea Rooms at Newtowne Square posted: “With the ongoing health crisis and the uncertainty of what it will bring, we have decided to offer a delivery service to the elderly and most vulnerable of our customers. At times like these, our community has to pull together and help out when and where we can.”
Limavady Wolfhounds GAC also used social media to reach out to those who need help, posting: “If anyone in the local area is in need of getting access to stores, getting groceries, prescriptions or any other necessities in the coming weeks please do not hesitate to get in contact with the club. We are here to help one another.”
Glenn's Butchers at Anderson Avenue revealed that it would be running a delivery service to “accommodate local customers” adding: “We have been serving Limavady for almost 10 years and without the support of the local community we would not be able to do that.
“So we would like to now offer our support to the local community, as we are all here to help one another. Anybody that finds themselves self isolating or any elderly people that cant or wont leave home, these customers will be seen to first.”
In a statement, the four-star Roe Park Resort, said it was “continually monitoring the situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and following all guidelines provided by Government, the Public Health Agency and the NHS.
“At this time, our business is currently open but we are having to make decisions on an almost daily basis given the rapidly evolving nature of the situation.
“The safety, wellbeing and comfort of our guests and our people, will always be top priority for us. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and our business will adapt as necessary.”
As visiting times to local care homes were cut to protect elderly residents from infection and panic buying gripped anxious shoppers, Sinn Fein MLA Caoimhe Archibald called for measures “to mitigate the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on businesses and workers.
The party’s economy spokesperson said: “The coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic is having, and will continue to have, far-reaching impacts on workers and businesses.
“It is vital, as we respond to this public health emergency, that measures to support our businesses, and to protect and support workers, are put in place.”