Health Minister Robin Swann does not rule out calling for lockdown intervention before Christmas

Health Minister, Robin Swann, declined an opportunity to confirm or deny a suggestion he will recommend a pre-Christmas lockdown intervention to the Northern Ireland Executive when it meets in Stormont on Thursday.

Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 5:59 pm

Health Minister Swann was reluctant to say if the recommendations he will make tomorrow will apply to the period of time before Christmas or if it will apply from December 28 when Christmas relaxation measures are due to end.

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Minister Swann did however confirm that the paper he will put before the Northern Ireland Executive on Thursday will be both “extreme and robust”.

Health Minister Robin Swann (pictured) will deliver a paper to the NI Executive tomorrow.

“Decisive action is required and the people will look to the Executive for what I believe is a decisive intervention and rightly so,” said Minister Swann.

“Just because you are able to do something does not mean you should do it.

“Think ahead, plan and discuss,” he added.

The media briefing occurred only a few hours after the Department of Health reported for only the second time this month more than 500 new Covid-19 detected in a 24 hour period.

In recent days the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael McBride described the Covid-19 situation in Northern Ireland as “extremely troubling”.

When asked to clarify if his “extreme” recommendations concerned the days leading up to Christmas, Minister Swann, said that was something he would be leaving to the Executive to decide tomorrow.

“I will be looking for, I suppose, extreme and robust interventions to get us back to a place where we should be.

“I will leave the detail and date of this for discussion at the Assembly tomorrow.”