Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Michelle O’Neill calls for immediate closure of schools and colleges

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Friday, March 13th, 2020
Community, Coronavirus, Politics

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has called for the immediate closure of Northern Ireland and UK schools and colleges.

Former Health Minister O’Neill made the call a day after Irish Taoseach Leo Varadkar announced the closure of all schools and colleges until 29 March 2020.

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The Deputy First Minister stated, “People are rightly concerned about the implications of Covid-19, on them and on their families and their loved ones.



“I believe that on the back of the public concern that’s clearly there, on the back of the angst that’s there among the wider public, now is the time to take action.

“Now is the time to ensure that all schools are closed, that universities and colleges are closed. That needs to happen immediately.”

O’Neill pointed to a lack of consistency in messaging from the UK compared to other European countries, who like Ireland, have taken the decision to close schools.



“I think the fact that there has been contradictory medical evidence out there is a problem,” she said.

“It’s a problem for people trying to make the right decision for them and their families.

“I believe, given that as a situation we need to air on the side of caution.



“I think we need to give the people that reassurance that they’re looking for in terms of a government approach.

“It’s very clear in my mind that what we need to see is one approach across this island, one message that’s consistent so that the public are not even more confused than what they are as we speak today.”


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