| 15.8°C Belfast

Robin Swann to recommend tightening coronavirus restrictions

Stormont ministers meet on Thursday to consider changes.

Close

Robin Swann is to recommend tightening coronavirus restrictions when the Executive meets later (Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA)

Robin Swann is to recommend tightening coronavirus restrictions when the Executive meets later (Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA)

Robin Swann is to recommend tightening coronavirus restrictions when the Executive meets later (Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA)

Robin Swann is to recommend tightening coronavirus restrictions when the Executive meets on Thursday.

Concrete action is needed to slow the spread of Covid-19, Stormont’s health minister has warned.

He said they needed to act now to avoid more restrictions at a later date.

“The message is simple. The summer is over.

“In common with other jurisdictions, we have decisions to make on how we stem a disturbing increase in Covid cases.

“I believe concrete action is now necessary.”

The minister said decisions would be required on whether it would apply to Northern Ireland as a whole or to more localised areas with higher rates of infection.

In England, social gatherings are to be restricted to a maximum of six, with some exceptions, from Monday.

Stormont’s chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said: “We are now at a crossroads, individually and collectively.

“As a society, we have stark choices to make.”

Northern Ireland’s case rate is 35 per 100,000 people.

That is higher than other parts of the UK.

Chief scientific adviser Professor Ian Young said there had been a 20-fold increase in the number of cases since the start of July compared to just a five-fold rise in the number of tests.

The daily average is now over 90.

First Minister Arlene Foster said the Executive may have to take similar interventions like those imposed in Glasgow, where households are banned from visiting others indoors.

PA