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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: DUP would have opted for different restrictions, admits First Minister Foster

  • Six deaths and 820 new cases in last 24 hours in NI
  • Department of Health death toll stands at 621
  • NI rate of positive cases at 375 per 100k of population, up from 329 last week
  • Localised Restrictions Support Scheme opens to eligible businesses across NI
  • Republic of Ireland moves to highest level of restrictions for six weeks
  • Scroll down to see how Monday unfolded

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First Minister Arlene Foster (Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA)

First Minister Arlene Foster (Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA)

First Minister Arlene Foster (Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA)

First Minister Arlene Foster has acknowledged the DUP would have opted to impose different Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland if it was making the decision on its own.

In a Facebook video the DUP leader stressed the need for ministers to support each other over decisions on Covid-19.

She highlighted the Executive made decisions on a coalition basis.

"We are in a five-party Executive and, by its very nature, any decision is going to have to be a compromise," the First Minister said.

"And I think it's fair to say that left to the DUP on our own, it would have been a different decision that we would have came forward with.

"However, it is important to say that everyone in the Executive recognises that there was a need to take some action to deal with the increase in transmission.

"And I've always spoken about the balance needed and about the fact that we need to take proportionate decisions. I'm going to continue to seek proportionate decisions and seek balance as we move forward. And let us support each other as we do take these decisions. I think it's important at this challenging time that we do that."

It comes after her party colleagues DAERA Minister Edwin Poots and MLA Paul Frew criticised the restrictions introduced last week.

Mrs Foster was speaking after six deaths and a further 820 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Monday by the Department of Health.

A total of 7,056 people have tested positive in Northern Ireland over the past seven days. The death toll now stands at 621.

There are currently 261 Covid patients in hospitals, with 29 patients in intensive care units. Twenty-five are being ventilated.

Meanwhile, there are 80 active care home outbreaks.

It comes as it was confirmed the flu vaccination programme for under-65s has had to be paused.

The Public Health Agency (PHA) said it was unable to order more vaccines until mid-November due to a worldwide shortage.

Half a million flu vaccines have already been distributed in NI during what the PHA described as "exceptionally high" demand for the vaccine in Northern Ireland.

Here's how Monday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph


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