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Swann has 'no plans' for care home residents in Northern Ireland to go into hotels during coronavirus outbreak


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Health Minister Robin Swann at the daily Stormont briefing

Health Minister Robin Swann at the daily Stormont briefing

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Health Minister Robin Swann at the daily Stormont briefing

Stormont's Health Minister has said there are no current plans to move coronavirus-free care home residents into hotels for their safety.

In yesterday's Belfast Telegraph, trade union Unison called for all residents and staff working in care homes to be tested to determine who has Covid-19, with those testing negative to be moved to hotels in a bid to save lives.

Latest figures indicated the virus has now been detected in 53 residential facilities in Northern Ireland.

Health Minister Robin Swann was asked whether he would consider using hotels for care residents who test negative.

He said while no proposals were being ruled out, the option was not currently being pursued.

He told the daily Covid-19 briefing at Stormont "we haven't taken anything off the table at this minute in time in how we support our elderly population, but it's not a route that we are currently going down".

"We are utilising hotels, or one hotel at this time, as a step-down facility from one of our hospital settings. So when somebody is stepping down and Covid patients are stepping down into hotel accommodation, rather than going into a care home or residential home, so they are not in their normal residential place, we are using the hotel as a step down.

"But at this minute in time we have no intention of using hotels to replace the accommodation and support that is provided in the care home settings."

Belfast Telegraph