DUP deploy veto a second time to block Robin Swann’s new Covid-19 proposals

The DUP has used a cross-community vote to block a new ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown proposal put forward by Health Minister, Robin Swann.
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The Executive failed to reach an agreement on Minister Swann’s two week extension proposal on Tuesday evening however when Minister Swann tabled a new one week proposal on Wednesday afternoon it too was blocked by the DUP.

It is understood the four other parties, Sinn Fein, UUP, SDLP and Alliance, all voted in favour of Minister Swann’s new proposals.

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A majority of ministers in the Executive have also rejected proposals put forward by Economy Minister Diane Dodds that would see certain parts of the Northern Ireland economy reopen on Friday.

First Minister, Arlene Foster.First Minister, Arlene Foster.
First Minister, Arlene Foster.

Health Minister Swann’s new proposal would have seen the ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown extended for one week as opposed to two.

The two week extension proposal was recommended by Northern Ireland Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael McBride, and brought before the Executive last week.

The Executive has met several times over the last seven days but it has yet to reach an agreement on what to do when the ‘circuit breaker’ effectively ends.

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Earlier, First Minister, Michelle O’Neill, issued a statement blaming the DUP for blocking the two week ‘circuit breaker’ extension on Tuesday evening.

Health Minister, Robin Swann.Health Minister, Robin Swann.
Health Minister, Robin Swann.

At the time of publication the Department of Health’s Covid-19 media briefing, which usually takes place every Wednesday evening, had not been scheduled for today.

Meanwhile, there have been eight new Covid-19 linked deaths reported in Northern Ireland in the last 24-hour period, with 791 new cases of the virus.