SF calls for all-island ban on non-essential travel

Sinn Féin's chief in Northern Ireland has mentioned there must be an all-island ban on non-essential travel to fight the potential unfold of the brand new variant of coronavirus.

The social gathering proposed a ban on travel between Britain and Northern Ireland at a particular assembly of the Stormont Executive final night time.

The transfer was supported by the SDLP, however the DUP, Ulster Unionists and Alliance Party voted in opposition to.

Unionists have accused the social gathering of taking part in politics and mentioned it was illogical to aim to ban travel from Britain whereas not banning it from the Republic of Ireland.

It comes as a additional 16 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Health has mentioned the dying toll recorded by the division now stands at 1,219.

An further 439 instances of the virus have been confirmed within the final 24-hour reporting interval.

Speaking in Coalisland this afternoon after one other assembly of the Executive, Stormont's Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill mentioned the social gathering needed laws on either side of the border to ban all non-essential travel.

"I would encourage the Taoiseach to work with us, I would encourage the Taoiseach to try to get to the point where the whole of the island is shut down to inbound travellers", she mentioned.

"We want pressing motion on an all-island foundation.

"When it involves north-south travel my message to all people could be very, very clear, nobody ought to travel except it's important. No one ought to make any non important journeys.

"Conor Murphy (Stormont Finance Minister) within the Executive assembly final night time really proposed that. We mentioned there must be a ban on any non-essential travel, north-south, east-west, it ought to apply throughout the board.

"Conor Murphy proposed to the Executive last night that there be legislation brought in that there are no non-essential journeys, we believe that should be the case right across the island."

The Stormont Executive has issued steering in opposition to all however important travel between Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic.

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Ms O'Neill additionally mentioned steering to individuals in Northern Ireland solely to depart their properties for important causes between 8pm and 6am in the course of the first week of a brand new lockdown starting on Saturday will turn into legislation.

"It's going to be in legislation", she mentioned.

"We simply mentioned that this morning on the Executive, in order that legislation will probably be drafted now, however we predict it's actually, actually necessary to ship that message, that this isn’t simply encouragement.

"We have a chance here to try and get to grips with this situation, we now have this new variant, we need everybody to try to work together to do that and we believe legislation is the best way to do that."

Meanwhile, Stormont's well being minister has expressed concern that Northern Ireland was become a "funnel" for individuals travelling to the Republic of Ireland from Britain after the flight ban.

NI grew to become 'funnel' for individuals returning – Swann

Robin Swann mentioned the Government didn’t give the Stormont govt advance discover of the ban and recommended ministers may have taken measures to deal with the rise in passengers if they’d recognized.

"From what I am aware, by speaking to other ministerial colleagues, we didn't have any pre-sight of that," he informed the Assembly scrutiny committee.

"I believe FM (first minister) and DFM (deputy first minister), like myself, obtained the decision after it had been introduced.

"So it left us because the funnel or because the avenue of getting again in.

"If there had been more co-ordination and conversations it could have made a difference."

Mr Swann additionally questioned the Government's choice to constitution flights to take individuals again house to Ireland whereas the ban on industrial flights was in place.

"They're bringing back the same people that would have been coming on those commercial flights over the past 48 hours, so I struggle to see the benefit in that ban if you're bringing back the same people from the same area but actually putting them into a smaller compact number of aeroplanes and ferries as well, where they will interact," he mentioned.

During his look earlier than the committee, Mr Swann defined the rationale for stopping in need of recommending a ban on travel between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

He highlighted the influence on provide chains, warning that medical shares may have been endangered.

"We have a concern about our supply chains in regards to anything that would stop the movement of ferries or aeroplanes, because we are reliant, we're at the end of a very long supply chain when it comes to some medicines and some medical devices," he mentioned.

Mr Swann additionally informed members that as of yesterday, about 20,000 individuals had obtained their first Covid-19 vaccine jab in Northern Ireland.

He mentioned 309 care properties, virtually two thirds of the full variety of properties in Northern Ireland, had been vaccinated.

The minister mentioned that included 7,311 residents and eight,600 care house workers.

primarily based on web site supplies www.rte.ie

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