First Minister and DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA said,
“The Deputy First Minister and her Sinn Fein colleagues must take responsibility for the health regulations being undermined. Their actions have undermined the authority and messaging of the Executive on Covid 19.
We must not use Sinn Fein as our yardstick on what is right regarding Covid 19 in the days and weeks ahead. To those who are angry and want to show it I ask them to pause and think of their family, friends and neighbours. This virus is still in our communities.
I commend the Loyal Orders for their leadership and their commitment to public safety and health by restyling this year’s celebrations to the ‘Twelfth at Home’ and other such initiatives. I ask all supporters to follow that example by upholding public health regulations and guidance.
Covid-19 is a battleground which transcends religion and politics. We must remember this is about life and death not politics. This is about right and wrong not politics.
It makes no difference if you are a unionist or a committed Irish republican, the Covid-19 regulations are for the protection of health and life and must be adhered to.
We are all frustrated and deeply disappointed by recent events. Sinn Fein stand isolated and without support because of their selfish and arrogant behaviour. The mask of integrity, respect and equality has well and truly slipped.
I have worked with other party leaders to table a motion in the Northern Ireland Assembly to send a clear signal that there cannot be a toleration for double standards. There are not two sets of rules.
We must focus on steering Northern Ireland through this crisis. While it is deeply frustrating that too much of our time has been diverted to deal with rule breaches by the very people who have helped to make the rules we must never forget that responsible and law abiding people have never used the Sinn Fein ‘standard’ as their yardstick previously and must not do so now.”