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Health Minister Robin Swann tests positive for Covid-19

The Health Minister has sought advice legal about removing Covid restrictions after the NI Executive collapsed


Health Minister Robin Swann.

Health Minister Robin Swann.

Health Minister Robin Swann.

Health Minister Robin Swann has tested positive for Covid-19 but says he will continue to carry out his duties where possible.

Earlier today Justice Minister Naomi Long said she hopes “space” has been given for Mr Swann to remove Covid-19 restrictions early next week.

It comes after Mr Swann had asked other ministers to indicate by Monday whether they support pressing ahead with lifting the remaining Covid rules in the absence of an Executive.

The health minister tweeted: “Unfortunately today I have tested positive for Covid-19.

“While self isolating & following public health guidance, I will continue to carry out my duties as fully as possible.”

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Other MLAs including deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, Paula Bradshaw from the Alliance Party and the SDLP’s Cara Hunter wished the health minister well.

Last week, a letter reported in the media stated government lawyers suggested the removal of restrictions would be “significant” and would need Executive approval.

However, it was also reported Mr Swann has been advised if other ministers agree that changing the regulations is not deemed significant, controversial, or cutting across the responsibility of another department, he could proceed with minimal risk.

Ms Long said that if Northern Ireland’s Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Medical Officer gave approval, the minister should “start to remove restrictions”.

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