Coronavirus NI: It's official - Northern Ireland goes TWO WEEKS without Covid-19 related death | This Morning viewers ‘absolutely fuming’ after travel expert Simon Calder tells British holidaymakers in Spain how to reduce quarantine in the UK

Northern Ireland has gone a full 14 days without recording a single additional Coronvirus related death, the Department of Health (DoH) has confirmed.

Monday, 27th July 2020, 6:00 pm

The last Covid-19 related death to be recorded in Northern Ireland was on July 13 - the total number of Covid-19 fatalaties in Northern Ireland according to DoH is 556.

Passengers leaving Belfast International Airport. (Photo: PA Wire)

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus in Northern Ireland

Last updated: Monday, 27 July, 2020, 15:22

  • It’s official - NI without a single additional COVID-19 related death in two weeks
  • Estimated 600,00 British people caught up in Spain quarantine chaos
  • 'The decision was taken after consideration of the latest data' says Health Minister
  • NI to get share of £3.7b released by HM Treasury to help battle coronavirus

It’s official - Northern Ireland has not recorded a single additional COVID-19 related death in two weeks

Northern Ireland has not reported any additional COVID-19 related deaths in 14 days.

The last Coronavirus related death to be recorded by the Department of Health was on Monday July 13.

The news comes amidst a decision taken by Health Minister, Robin Swann, to remove Spain from a list of destination exempt from strict quarantine regulations.

As a direct result of a spike in positive cases of COVID-19 in Spain, Mr. Swann insisted it was the responsible thing to do.

It now means anyone travelling from Spain to Northern Ireland must observe 14 days quarantine when they arrive here.

Meanwhile, an additional 21 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours.

This Morning viewers ‘absolutely fuming’ with travel expert Simon Calder after he tells British woman on holiday in Spain how to reduce the amount of time she spends on quarantine in the UK

Some viewers of This Morning  were left ‘absolutely fuming’ with travel expert Simon Calder on Monday after he told a British woman on holiday in Spain how to reduce the amount of time she spends in quarantine in the UK.

“The only way to reduce two weeks of quarantine you have to serve when returning here [the UK] is to, believe it or not, leave the country again,” said Calder.

"To go to France, to Italy, or to anywhere else you like."

Hosts Eamonn Holmes and wife Ruth Langsford were taken aback by the travel expert’s comments but when questioned on it he replied: "they can, if they want to, leave there homes, catch the train to the airport and get on a flight to somewhere else."

Ruth Langsford brought the interview to an end and urged viewers to follow official government advice.

“This is one of the most astonishingly stupid pieces of television I can remember,” tweeted one man.

“I am absolutely fuming - so irresponsible literally advising people how to bend the rules,” added another.

Mr. Calder took to Twitter a while later to defend what he said.

Rebecca from Belfast arrives in Alicante

Social distancing on a beach in Spain

NI to get share of £3.7b released by HM Treasury to help battle coronavirus

NI on verge of recording two full weeks with zero Coronavirus related deaths

The last time Northern Ireland recorded an additional Coronavirus related death was on July 13, 2020.

The stats for Sunday (yesterday) will be published by the Department of Health at approximately 2.00pm today. 

Thousands of Northern Ireland tourists caught up in Spain quarantine chaos

Health Minister Robin Swann has explained the reason why  he derided to remove Spain from the list of countries exempt from the 14 day quarantine rule - writes Rebecca Black 

The Northern Ireland Executive is set to meet later to discuss a decision to introduce quarantine for those arriving in the region from Spain.

Health Minister Robin Swann announced the measure on Saturday night following similar moves across the rest of the UK.

The Ulster Unionist minister has requested a meeting of the Executive to discuss what support or advice may be required for those facing the 14-day quarantine.

The meeting is expected to take place by video conference on Monday afternoon.

Travellers continued to fly to and return from Spain at Belfast International Airport on Monday.

Edith Mikutenaite and Aleksanda Sabalina, from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, were among those who returned from Barcelona.

They described the news of having to quarantine following a three-night trip as “horrible”.

“It ruined the whole holiday,” said Ms Sabalina.

“We did not expect that at all, we thought the announcement would be made on Monday or at least some sort of notice for people who had already left without knowing there was going to be a quarantine to ensure they had any work issues sorted out.”

Ms Mikutenaite said: “It is totally unfair – we only went away for three days and now we are going to be stuck for 14 days at home.”

Mr Swann said his decision was not taken lightly, and was made to keep people safe.

“There is no ideal time to make such a decision. A phased introduction would not have made sense. Public health considerations must take priority,” he said.

“The decision was taken after consideration of the latest data.

“Covid-19 prevalence in Spain has increased in recent weeks – a trend which accelerated rapidly in the latter half of the past week.

“I appreciate that people returning from Spain and its islands will now be faced with an unexpected period of quarantining.  

“The advice from the chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser is that a negative Covid-19 test immediately on return from Spain would not exclude infection – so a period of self-isolation would still be required.”

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