Thursday 15 April 2021
Rachel Woods MLA, speaking on the latest Covid restriction relaxation:
"A cautious approach to the easing of restrictions is understandable, given the previous patterns of infection spikes, rolling lockdowns and recurring restrictions.
"There will be people who are relieved by the announcement today but just as many people disappointed. I understand and have empathy for those who cannot reopen businesses or interact with family and friends in the way they would want.
"Lockdown has been really tough on people with huge financial and emotional suffering during this time, particularly the most vulnerable in society who have faced significant hardship without appropriate support systems.
"However, we need to look beyond next week, next month, the next year. It's becoming clear that we need to live with this virus and so we must forward plan and develop strategies around how we cope with Covid-19. That requires long-term planning, a strategic approach and a firm focus on ensuring support for the most vulnerable across society.
"To that end, we still need an Independent Expert Covid Taskforce to steer us through this crisis with a long-term plan. The five party Executive model is beset by competing political priorities. Clear, non-partisan expertise is necessary to break the cycle of lockdowns and avoid the mistakes of the past."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498