Scientific evidence around checking arrivals to Northern Ireland needs clarified, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said the scientific evidence around checking arrivals into Northern Ireland to restrict spread of the coronavirus needs to be clarified publicly, after it was revealed the advice stated travellers from the rest of the UK present the greatest risk of bringing it here.

Media reports suggest the advice from the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer was given to Health Minister Robin Swann.

“I submitted an Assembly Question last month to query why, for the past month, we have been officially asking people arriving from parts of Europe with low or even no transmission of the virus to quarantine, while at the same time not even checking arrivals from England where transmission has remained among the highest in Europe,” said South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw.

“It has been obvious for some time we should at least be using some of our tracing network and testing capacity to check arrivals into Northern Ireland from England, given the infection rate is evidently so much higher there.

“It is peculiar scientific evidence backing this up has only been revealed now, when it must have been available a month ago.

“As travel for work and to see family begins to pick up, the public need clarity about the scientific advice around travel and the evidence base behind it.”