All-island approach to Covid still needed, says Mary Lou McDonald

All-Island Approach To Covid Still Needed, Says Mary Lou Mcdonald
'To keep any of us safe, we need to keep us all safe,' the Sinn Féin leader said. Photo: PA
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Vivienne Clarke

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has repeated calls for an all-island approach to Covid restrictions.

“To keep any of us safe, we need to keep us all safe,” she told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.


When asked if shops in the Republic should remain closed after Christmas as will be the case in the North, Ms McDonald said it made sense for the country to operate as a single unit when it comes to public health, to have the same measures for the island as a whole.

When asked again if non-essential retail in the Republic should be closed from Saturday, Ms McDonald said that “from the very beginning” [of the pandemic] she had been asking the Government to spearhead an all-island approach.

It would be far better to have a single approach, not one approach for the North and another for the South, she said.

“I support Dublin and Belfast getting their act together,” she said.


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Ms McDonald said schools would have to open safely and the situation would have to be assessed closer to the end of the Christmas break.

She was disappointed the Stormont Executive had not ruled to halt flights from the UK. “We will press for this matter again,” she said.

The party leader said she supported the reimposed restrictions in the Republic, but said that guidance was “useless” unless the restrictions were “properly enforced and invigilated”.

Testing and tracing systems “North and South” needed to be strengthened otherwise they left the public “always vulnerable,” she said.

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