The Alliance Party’s health spokeswoman has said she will not go ahead with a foreign holiday if Stormont guidance continues to advise against non-essential travel.
Earlier on Monday, Paula Bradshaw, who sits on the Assembly’s health committee, said she intended to go ahead with a family trip to Italy this weekend.
But hours later the South Belfast representative issued another statement saying she would not now take the break if the current guidelines remain in place.
I should have been clearer this morning that by "operating within the guidance" I meant not travelling abroad unless it is essential, until the guidance changes.— Paula Bradshaw MLA (@PaulaJaneB) July 20, 2020
It is correct that I had initially booked to travel this Saturday, but my journey is not "essential", so that is not possible within the current guidance.— Paula Bradshaw MLA (@PaulaJaneB) July 20, 2020
I love Italy, and look forward to travelling there again when it is safe to do so!
First Minister Arlene Foster said she would not tell people whether they should go ahead with holidays or not, insisting it was a matter for their own judgment.
“Like many people, I have a holiday booked – in my case to Italy,” said Mrs Bradshaw.
“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.”
Earlier on Monday she insisted she was not breaking any laws or being disrespectful to anyone working to suppress the virus in Northern Ireland.
“The guidance is there around all of those measures and we as a family have weighed it up.
“If the holiday is cancelled, the holiday is cancelled, but it’s our intention to proceed at this point.
“I am not breaking any law and I’m not trying to be disrespectful of the work of anybody during this pandemic to keep it under control.
“In many ways I’ve tried to play an active part, so we’re just going to proceed on that basis.”
Ms Bradshaw, Assembly private secretary to her party leader, Stormont justice minister Naomi Long, told BBC Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show: “A lot of people are going on holidays, a lot of people will be doing the same as we’re doing, so that’s where we’re at.”
She added: “I just felt we’ve spent so much time in lockdown, we’re going to an all-inclusive resort, we will be respectful when we get there and we’ll just spend some peaceful time as a family.”
On a visit to Ballymena on Monday, Mrs Foster said it was not for her to tell people whether they should proceed with foreign holidays.
She noted there were about 60 countries on Northern Ireland’s green list and people travelling to and from those destinations would not have to self-isolate when they land.
“It’s not up to me to tell people should they go or should they not go,” Mrs Foster said, during a visit to a redevelopment at the Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort.
“If they have booked a holiday and they (the destination) are on the green or amber list then they can go without having to quarantine when they come back.
“Whether they go or not is entirely a matter for their own judgment.”
Mrs Foster said Stormont officials were seeking to “tidy up” coronavirus regulations to keep them in line with recent decisions taken by the Executive.