Coronavirus NI - Parts of NI to be put into lockdown on Thursday hints minister | Health Minister Robin Swann urges Sammy Wilson to ‘get on the same page’ after he receives two death threats

Health Minister Robin Swann has given his strongest hint yet that some parts of Northern Ireland will be put into local lockdown on Thursday.

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 6:48 pm

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Health Minister Robin Swann said he has received two death threats over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Ireland. (Photo: PA Wire)

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Local lockdown for parts of NI could be announced on Thursday and ‘wet pubs’ indicative reopening date due tomorrow says Arlene Foster

An Emergency Department Nurse during a demonstration of the Coronavirus pod and COVID-19 virus testing procedures set-up beside the Emergency Department of Antrim Area Hospital, Co Antrim in Northern Ireland.

Arlene Foster said the Northern Ireland Executive may have to introduce local lockdowns to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 which is rising in certain parts of the province.

The First Minister said the Executive will meet on Thursday to discuss further measures.

“We’re discussing these matters tomorrow and it may be that we have to take similar interventions in various places,” she said.

“What we don’t want to see happening is going back to where we were in March and April time.

“We want to take proportionate action and we will always have to under the law.

“We will have a full discussion on Covid. You have seen limited lockdowns in other parts of the UK and the Republic, we haven’t had to do that thus far, we may have to do that again tomorrow.”

Arlene Foster also said she hopes to give an indicative date for the reopening of so-called “wet pubs” on Thursday.

She said: “What we are seeing is household transmission and I think that’s the same in other parts of the UK. If you look at what is happening in Glasgow when they introduced restrictions it was in and around households, so it’s not to do with the opening up of hospitality.

“Having been out and about I have been very impressed in the way in which the hospitality sector have been able to mitigate against Covid-19, and restrict movement but yet offer a service.

“I think it is unfair that one section of one part of our economy have not been able to open.

“I hope that we can give an indicative date tomorrow to those wet pubs.

“They deserve it and people have been abiding by the law for a very long time and I want to pay tribute to their resilience, but I think we do need to give them, in a graduated way, a date they can reopen.”

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