By Michael Kenwood, BBC Local News Partnership
Belfast City Council is providing health workers with access to its leisure centres for showering and changing, to help reduce the risk of spreading Covid19 when workers return home.
Three leisure centres will be available for use from this week, Andersonstown (pictured above), Shankill and Lisnasharragh, and four more will be made available over the coming weeks.
Access will be granted to Belfast Trust staff seven days a week, from 5.30am-12.30pm and 4.30pm-10.30pm daily. Regular cleaning and security is being provided at each of the sites.
Belfast Lord Mayor Daniel Baker said: “I’m pleased that we are in a position to support our frontline health workers in this way. Our NHS is under incredible pressure at the moment.
“Health workers are risking their own health to care for others and having access to our facilities means they can be guaranteed a safe and clean environment to shower and change between shifts, and reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus when they return home to their loved ones.”
Councillor Baker added: “At this time, we as a council are doing everything we can to support the efforts of our health trusts, government agencies and city partners. We need to work together and support each other, and this is just another small way in which we can assist those who are working round the clock to keep us safe and providing care for the most vulnerable in our society.”