Need for THIRD NI-wide intervention before Christmas if Executive fail to reach agreement on ‘circuit breaker’ extension Health Minister tells Executive
and live on Freeview channel 276
Northern Ireland’s four week long ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown is due to end at midnight tomorrow.
If no agreement is reached, large parts of the economy would be permitted to reopen by default.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael McBride has recommended the ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown be extended for an extra two weeks.
It has been reported that the two week extension to the ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown put forward by Health Minister Robin Swann on Tuesday warned about the clear and present risk of a third lockdown before Christmas.
Minister Swann’s proposal also stated that even if the Executive agreed to move forward with the two week extension there would be no guarantee Northern Ireland would avoid a potential third lockdown before Christmas.
Minister Swann tabled a compromise on Wednesday afternoon when he reduced his proposals from two weeks down to one.
The DUP, who blocked Minister Swann’s two week proposal on Tuesday night, used a cross-community vote to block his one week proposal on Wednesday.
The other four parties in the Executive (Sinn Fein, SDLP, UUP and Alliance) all backed Minister Swann’s proposals.
The same four parties rejected proposals designed to reopen parts of the economy put forward by DUP MLA and Economy Minister Diane Dodds.
The Press Association is reporting that Justice Minister and Alliance Party leader, Naomi Long, is now working on a proposal that would see the merging together of Minister Swann’s and Minister Dodds’ proposals.
Under the proposal, the circuit break would continue for a further week before the introduction of measures that would allow cafes and coffee shops to reopen and close contact services to resume.