The Minister said caution is still very much required in the battle against COVID-19.
He continued: "As the season draws to an end, this is a big weekend of football both here and across the water.
"I am very aware of just how important football is to many people, not least over the past number of months when COVID-19 restrictions curtailed so much of our lives.
"There may be a temptation to get together for these big matches- both through indoor mixing between households and in larger gatherings outdoors.
"I would urge people to keep abiding by the public health advice and COVID-19 restrictions. This is how we protect ourselves and others.
"Northern Ireland has made real progress against the virus, but the threat is still very much there. It is still making people very ill and still claiming lives.
"Please stay safe and maintain social distancing.
"This is my message to everyone - as we all look forward to the weekend and to further easing of restrictions. Let's keep doing all we can to maintain the progress that has been made."
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