Bradshaw urges swift re-introduction of shielding

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has urged the Health Minister to come to a conclusion swiftly on the re-introduction of shielding, given that further public spaces will re-open in just a week.

The South Belfast Alliance MLA said: “Had the medical guidance and scientific advice been followed, as we and the Minister wished, we may have had some extra time to consider whether we needed to re-introduce shielding. However, given the DUP decided to block our preferred way forward contrary to the evidence presented, we now have no option but to reach a decision swiftly to protect those clinically vulnerable to the virus.

“In England, clear guidance has been given to those who were shielding, but it was not necessary formally to re-introduce it because England is in full lockdown until 2 December anyway. However, given the DUP’s insistence on re-opening higher risk settings, despite the decline in case numbers slowing, we now have little option but to consider swiftly the re-introduction of formal shielding in law no later than the end of next week.

“I would urge the Minister to reach a decision swiftly so that people who are clinically vulnerable, their carers and those who live with them have absolute clarity about how they can best protect themselves and each other.”