Northern Ireland news

SDLP health committee member apologises after breaching Covid travel rules

The SDLP's Cara Hunter has issued an apology

A STORMONT health committee member has apologised after breaching Covid-19 travel restrictions by going to Donegal for a weekend break.

SDLP East Derry MLA Cara Hunter posted pictures of herself on social media in what appeared to be mobile holiday accommodation, saying: "Grateful for the weekend off - two happy campers."

Cross-border travel is currently only permitted for essential purposes, including work, medical reasons and education, with the rules set to be relaxed on May 24.

While inter-county travel restrictions in the Republic were lifted earlier this month, non-essential cross-border visits are not allowed under the Executive regulations.

Ms Hunter posted an image on social media

In a statement to the BBC Stephen Nolan Show, Ms Hunter, who became the party's health representative last December, said:

"Over the weekend, I travelled to Donegal in self-contained accommodation.

"I recognise that what I did was not a breach of the Covid regulations the travel was not in line with the Executive’s guidance - I want to sincerely apologise for making a mistake."

Public health guidance also states that anyone goes to the Republic for more than 24 hours must self-isolate for 10 days on their return, unless they are exempt.

Concerns have been raised by health authorities about the spike in cases in border areas - including Donegal - in recent weeks and the impact on neighbouring counties following a surge in infections rates across Derry/Strabane.

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