NI Covid-19 'travel passports' set-out by Arlene Foster

First Minister, Arlene Foster, has explained to MLAs what the Northern Ireland Executive is pursuing so that people living here who want to travel to a foreign country can prove they are fully vaccinated.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 7:23 pm

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First Minister, Arlene Foster has explained to MLAs what the Northern Ireland Executive is pursuing so that people living here who want to travel to a foreign country can prove they are fully vaccinated.

Holidaymakers boarding and EasyJet aircraft bound for Portugal.

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus - NI Covid-19 ‘travel passports’ set-out by Arlene Foster

Last updated: Monday, 17 May, 2021, 18:33

NI Covid-19 'travel passports' set-out by Arlene Foster

Outgoing First Minister, Arlene Foster, has told MLAs that Northern Ireland holidaymakers might not be able to access their so-called Covid-19 ‘travel passports’ in the same way people living in England and Wales can.

Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed holidaymakers in England would be able to access the information concerning vaccinations and tests etc on the NHS app, which Mrs. Foster said isn’t available here.

Mrs. Foster said civil servants are working on both a digital and paperwork levels to ensure people living here can travel abroad easily.

“We obviously want all of the apps in each of the four parts of UK to talk to one another - at the moment, the Northern Ireland and Scotland apps don’t work in England but if we fix that then that would be way people could access the relevant information.”

Mrs. Foster went on to explain that in the event a technical solution is not found, officials are looking into how holidaymakers could access the information they require and present it as a paper document.”

First Minister Foster said she was confident that there would be an update on this specific issue later this week.

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus NI - Summer holiday travel list to be finalised by Executive this week

First Minister, Arlene Foster, has said she is hopeful the Northern Ireland Executive will reach agreement on a summer holiday travel list later this week.

Mrs. Foster explained that whilst the Executive had not reached agreement on travel in a meeting held last Thursday, she remained confident there would be an update later this week.

It is widely expected that the Executive will sign off on something a travel policy similar to the one that has been rolled out in England.

The travel structure in England has a list of 12 countries and territories that people can visit without having to observe either self-isolation at home or in a hotel on their return.

Portugal is one of the countries included on England’s list and since the list was announced there has been a massive spike in the number of holidaymakers booking summer breaks in the Algarve and other parts of Portugal.

One death and 82 new infections detected in last 24 hours

There has been one further death of a patient who had previously tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

Another 82 positive cases were also confirmed by the region’s Department of Health.

On Monday morning there were 32 Covid-positive patients in hospital, of whom two were in intensive care.

Additional cases of Covid-19 reportedly detected in Northern Ireland

Health authorities in Northern Ireland have detected up to four new cases of the Indian Covid-19 variant, according to reports.

It means that up to 16 individuals in Northern Ireland have now tested positive for the variant that is officially known as B.1.617.2.

We have asked the Public Health Agency (PHA) if any of the 16 people confirmed cases occurred in people who had been previously vaccinated or if any of those with the variant have lost their lives - we have not yet received a response.

The Indian variant is much prevalent in Great Britain and has become such a concern that Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it could have an impact upon his June 21 date for when all restrictions will be lifted.

SDLP MLA Cara Hunter forced into apology after posting images on social media show her breaching NI Executive Covid-19 guidance

SDLP health spokesperson, Cara Hunter, has been forced to apologise after she admitted to breaching the Northern Ireland Executive's Covid-19 guidance over the weekend.

Miss Hunter posted images of herself in Donegal in what appears to be a camper van.

The images were shared with the caption: “Grateful for the weekend off - two happy campers.”

At the moment, travel from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland is only permitted for essential travel.

Also, anyone intending to stay more than 24 hours Northern Ireland after travelling from the Republic of Ireland should self-isolate for 10 days.

“Over the weekend, I travelled to Donegal in self-contained accommodation,” said Cara Hunter in a statement to The Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster.

“I recognise that what I did was not a breach of the Covid regulations the travel was not in line with the Executive’s guidance - I want to sincerely apologise for making a mistake,” she added.

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