CHARLIE McConalogue has insisted that high Covid-19 infection rates in the north west are ‘not a Border issue’.
The Minister for Agriculture was speaking on BBC’s Sunday Politics programme after the Northern Ireland Health Minister, Robin Swann, called for a stop to non-essential cross-border travel.
In a letter last week, Swann asked for such journeys to be stopped ‘by enforcement if required’.
It comes as 98 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Northern Ireland today with no further deaths announced.
Swann’s letter expressed concern at ‘a fresh increase of community transmission of Covid-19’.
However, McConalogue said: “I think the key point here is that it’s not a border issue, it’s a regional issue, and we have to work together as we gradually reopen.
“We have seen, for example in Donegal here, a very close correlation with Derry and Strabane in relation to infections over the last number of months.
“From Monday we’re in the situation because of the increasing rollout of vaccination to be able to allow inter-county, non-essential travel. And that’s because we’ve got into that space and likewise that is the situation in Northern Ireland.
“So I think it’s really good that people can now travel between counties for non-essential purposes but in doing that our clear message to everyone is to continue to stay safe and continue to be very aware of the possibility of infection if we let our guard down.”Tags: