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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: No deaths and 23 new Covid-19 cases announced as MLA U-turns on family holiday plans

  • Death total remains at 556
  • 23 new confirmed cases of the virus, taking the total to 5,857

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Paula Bradshaw

Paula Bradshaw

Paula Bradshaw

The Department of Health has announced 23 new cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland with no further deaths over the weekend.

The total number of positive cases in Northern Ireland, since testing began is now at 5,857. The death toll remains at 556.

It comes after the Alliance health spokeswoman Paula Bradshaw was forced to perform a swift u-turn after she revealed her family holiday plans on Monday morning.

The South Belfast MLA, within hours of an appearance on the BBC Radio Ulster Nolan show, cancelled her plans to take her family to Italy at the weekend. She said she will not travel abroad "unless it is essential" or until the "guidance changes".

Earlier she defended going on the trip to an all-inclusive hotel despite it being against current health advice. The Executive's coronavirus guidance is not to travel abroad unless it is essential.

She cancelled her trip saying it was not essential, so therefore "not possible within the current guidance".

"I love Italy, and look forward to travelling there again when it is safe to do so," she tweeted.

She had insisted she was not breaking any laws or being disrespectful to anyone who was working to suppress the virus in Northern Ireland.

Her comments on The Nolan Show sparked anger from some callers, although others lined up to defend her.

In a statement to the Belfast Telegraph, Paula Bradshaw added: “Like many people, I have a holiday booked – in my case to Italy. I should be clear when I said I would operate within the guidance, that obviously includes not travelling if the regulations and guidance at the time state I should not do so. That is currently the case.

“It is important everyone, particularly in representative roles, adheres both to the spirit and letter of that guidance.”

Meanwhile, Arlene Foster has dismissed a suggestion on aligning Northern Ireland's quarantine rules with the Republic as a "red herring".

And the UK Government has signed new deals which it says will provide more than 90 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines which are currently in development.

Belfast Telegraph