Northern Ireland news

Michelle O'Neill tests positive for Covid-19

Michelle O'Neill said she is currently isolating. Picture by Peter Morrison

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said she has contracted Covid-19.

The Sinn Fein politician tweeted that she is in self-isolation but hopes to return to public duties next week.

She wrote: "I have contracted Covid-19. I am thankful to have had two doses of the vaccine.

"I'll remain in self-isolation, and hope to return to my public duties next week.

"Executive Office Minister Declan Kearney, will take forward Departmental business in the meantime."

Meanwhile, one of Ms O'Neill's ministerial colleagues has called on the Stormont Executive to "set out a path" for ending remaining Covid restrictions in Northern Ireland.

DUP Economy Minister Gordon Lyons told the BBC: "We need to start moving on these issues, we have to take into account the impact on the economy, the health service and society more generally.

"Although we have a steady number of cases, we have had a massive reduction in the number of hospitalisations compared to January and February.

"As an executive we've all said we want these restrictions to end as soon as possible, taking all the evidence on board including the economic and health data as well."

Some Covid restrictions remain in place in the north, with no more than 10 people from three households allowed to meet indoors at a private home and hospitality businesses required to operate table service only for drinks, and must record customer details for contact tracing.

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Northern Ireland news