LiveLIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus NI - Six additional cases of India variant B.1.617 detected in Northern Ireland

Six additional cases of the B.1.617 variant first encountered in India have been detected in Northern Ireland in the last seven days.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 6:09 pm

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Six more cases of what the WHO now call the Delta (Indian) variant have been detected in Northern Ireland.

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus NI - ‘Shambles, disgrace and confusion’- Portugal put on amber list because of detection of Indian variant mutation that originated in Nepal which WHO says does not exist

Last updated: Thursday, 03 June, 2021, 18:14

Six additional cases of the B.1.617 variant first encountered in India have been detected in Northern Ireland in the last seven days, according to Public Health England (PHE).

It takes the total number of cases in Northern Ireland to 26.

A total of 12,431 have been detected throughout the United Kingdom: England (10,797); Scotland (1,511) and Wales (97).

A total of 115 cases of the Delta variant have also been detected in the Republic of Ireland.

'Shambles, disgrace and confusion'- Portugal put on amber list because of detection of Indian variant mutation that originated in Nepal which WHO says does not exist

There has been a furious reaction to an announcement made by the Northern Ireland Executive that will see Portugal taken off of the green list and put onto the amber list next week.

Anyone arriving to Northern Ireland, either directly or indirectly from Portugal, after 4am on Tuesday 8 June will be legally required to:

  • provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test result taken up to three days before departure
  • book post-arrival day 2 and 8 testing
  • complete a UK passenger locator form 48 hours before departure
  • self-isolate for 10 days

Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Trinidad and Tobago will also be added to the Red List from 4am on Tuesday 8 June.

There have been no additions to the Green List.

“Absolutely scandalous how the government is treating us,” said one Northern Ireland man.

Managing Director for TUI UK Andrew Flintham said: “This latest announcement is another step back for our industry.

“After promises that the Global Travel Taskforce would result in a clear framework, removing the damaging flip flopping we all endured last summer, the Government decision to move Portugal straight from green to amber will do untold damage to customer confidence.

“We were reassured that a green watch list would be created and a weeks’ notice would be given so travellers wouldn’t have to rush back home.

“They have failed on this promise.

“Unlike other European countries and despite multiple requests, the government has refused to be transparent about the data requirements for green, amber and red destinations.

“We must see the methodology so we can help our customers and plan our operations accordingly.

“There are destinations around the world with little or no covid-19 cases and good vaccination rates, so we need to understand why these remain on the amber list.”

One additional death and 80 new infections detected in last 24 hours

There has been one further Covid-19 death recorded by Stormont’s Department of Health.

The death was included in the departmental statistics on Thursday but did not occur in the previous 24-hour reporting period.

There have been another 80 confirmed cases of the virus recorded.

On Thursday morning there were 17 confirmed Covid-19 inpatients in hospital, one of whom was in intensive care.

Angry backlash likely as government looks set to add Portugal to amber list

Portugal will be removed from the green travel list on Thursday, it has been reported, writes Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent.

The summer hotspot will be put on the amber list following a meeting between the Westminster and devolved governments, and the Joint Biosecurity Centre, according to the BBC.

People returning to the UK from amber list countries must self-isolate at home for 10 days as part of coronavirus restrictions.

Many holidaymakers in Portugal face a scramble for flights home before the move is introduced, which is expected to be in the coming days.

The Government’s decision is a huge blow for the travel industry, as Portugal was the only viable major tourist destination on the green list when it was announced last month.

The PA news agency understands no additions will be made to the list on Thursday, despite speculation that Spanish and Greek islands and Malta could be added.

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