12th July parade in Coleraine
Celebrations for this year’s Twelfth of July might be a little different this year but the Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding anyone choosing to drink that nothing has changed when it comes to alcohol – keep an eye on your alcohol intake by making a plan of setting a sensible limit and sticking to it.
The PHA’s Drugs and Alcohol lead Michael Owen said: “A lot of people will be making plans to celebrate the Twelfth at home and we are encouraging them to keep an eye on their alcohol intake should they choose to drink.
“By setting a plan, you can avoid binge drinking which has been shown to have adverse effects on our health and safety.
“It’s recommended that men and women drink no more than 14 units per week, to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level. If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three or more days – you shouldn’t ‘save up’ your units for a particular day or a party.
“14 units is about the same as five pints of 5% strength beer, so you can see how the units can add up and you can quickly reach your limit.
“Binge drinking can have a major impact on health such as causing damage to the liver, heart, brain and stomach. Over-indulging in alcohol can also affect relationships and spoil the holiday for you, your family and friends.
“With many official celebrations cancelled this year, people may more likely to be drinking around the house. Seeing adults drinking and drunk can be frightening for young children. Make sure there is at least one non-drinking adult in the house at all times and if you are drinking, try to leave it late until the kids have gone to bed.
“Remember, you don’t need alcohol to have a good time, but if you do decide to drink, know your limits.
“Drinking too much can also make you forget that we all need to be sure to maintain social distancing.”
We should aim to stay two metres apart, where possible. Social distancing is essential to prevent further waves of the epidemic. You should avoid visiting places whenever there is a chance that large numbers of people will converge and crowds will form.
The Northern Ireland Executive has said that groups of up to 30 people who do not share a household can meet outdoors, maintaining social distancing, and groups of up to six people who do not share a household can meet indoors, maintaining social distancing.
The current advice is that the use of face coverings is also strongly recommended in indoor spaces.
Alongside this we mustn’t forget the importance of good hand hygiene. Wash your hands well and often and don’t touch your eyes, mouth or nose with unclean hands. If you sneeze or cough, catch it in to a tissue, bin it as soon as possible, and wash your hands immediately to help kill the germs.