Covid-19 NI: Eight deaths and 442 new cases as Eastwood says 'huge mistakes' were made

Earlier today, a bus company in the North came under fire for plans to run shopping tours from Derry to Dundrum Town Square.
Covid-19 NI: Eight deaths and 442 new cases as Eastwood says 'huge mistakes' were made

A total of 51,118 people have now tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the pandemic began.

A further eight people with Covid-19 have died in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has said.

The death toll recorded by the department now stands at 962.

There were also another 442 confirmed cases of the virus recorded in the last 24-hour reporting period.

A total of 51,118 people have now tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the pandemic began.

SDLP leader Colm Eastwood said today that “huge mistakes” were made by the Northern Ireland Executive with regard to Covid restrictions and a full lockdown should have been imposed weeks ago.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s News at One, Mr Eastwood said that “one approach” for the island of Ireland would have been much better.

“The Dublin Government did things properly. We should have gone into full lockdown, but only the pubs closed. Retail remained open and people were walking about.” 

The virus did not recognise that there were two jurisdictions, he added.

“We have to operate as one island. There is a responsibility to get the virus numbers under control.” 

If the people of the North were sensible “then we could have some sort of Christmas”.

Mr Eastwood pointed out that 30,000 people cross the border every day to go to work, school and shop.

“It’s not at all an international border.” 

Now that the North was facing into “proper lockdown” it was an opportunity to get figures down.

We have a responsibility to sort this out.

Mr Eastwood hoped that the lockdown would make a difference.

“It is in our hands now. We have to really try together to get out the other end.” 

Earlier today, a bus company in the North came under fire for plans to run shopping tours from Derry to Dundrum Town Square.

It was organising the day trips as shops in the North are due to close from tomorrow due to restrictions while shops here are expected to re-open next week.

The company said this afternoon that it would no longer be doing the tours "after double-checking travel restrictions".

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