Northern Ireland deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill tests positive for Covid

Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister, Michelle O’Neill, has said she has contracted Covid-19.

Sinn Féin politician tweeted that she was in self-isolation but hoped 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.”

同时, one of O’Neill’s ministerial colleagues has called on the Stormont executive to “set out a path” for ending remaining Covid restrictions in Northern Ireland.

The DUP’s 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 Northern Ireland, 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 record customer details for contact tracing.

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