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Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that the Executive should agree to an extension of the current Coronavirus restrictions in line with the expert medical advice to save lives, safeguard the education of thousands of children and calls for extended support to protect livelihoods.

The Foyle MP said that the Economy Minister should bring forward a targeted support package for those businesses that will be asked to remain closed for the duration of the restrictions.

Colum Eastwood MP said:

“It is clearly the view of the Executive’s most senior medical advisers that Coronavirus restrictions should be extended for an additional two weeks to reduce the R number and prevent further transmission of the virus. I understand that this will pose very significant challenges for businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector, but our first priority must be bringing this virus under control again.

“None of us have the luxury of ignoring the stark testimony from doctors, nurses and health service support staff over the last week. To do so would be a shocking abdication of responsibility to every patient fighting for their lives on a ventilator and to everyone who has made immense sacrifices over the last seven months. Our health service is at crisis point – this is the time for decisive action.

“I understand that this situation will pose significant challenges to businesses asked to remain closed and to their suppliers who may remain open. That’s why the Economy Minister needs to come forward with a targeted package of support for these workers and businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector. This is not a time to be sitting back, we need Ministers on the pitch fighting to save lives and save jobs.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom