Stormont health committee member defends foreign holiday

The Alliance Party’s health spokeswoman has defended her decision to proceed with a foreign holiday against Stormont guidance on non-essential travel.

Paula Bradshaw, who sits on the Assembly’s health committee, is going to an all-inclusive hotel in Italy with her family next week.

The South Belfast MLA insisted she was not breaking any laws or being disrespectful to anyone who was working to suppress the virus in Northern Ireland.

General Election 2019
Paula Bradshaw is the Alliance Party’s health spokeswoman (Liam McBurney/PA)

The executive’s coronavirus guidance is not to travel abroad unless it is essential.

“I’m not breaking any laws,” she said.

“The guidance is there around all of those measures and we as a family have weighed it up.

“If the holiday is cancelled, the holiday is cancelled but it’s our intention to proceed at this point.

“I am not breaking any law and I’m not trying to be disrespectful of the work of anybody during this pandemic to keep it under control.

“In many ways I’ve tried to play an active part, so we’re just going to proceed on that basis.”

Ms Bradshaw, who is also Assembly private secretary to her party leader and Stormont justice minister Naomi Long, told BBC Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show: “A lot of people are going on holidays, a lot of people will be doing the same as we’re doing, so that’s where we’re at.”

She added: “I just felt we’ve spent so much time in lockdown, we’re going to an all-inclusive resort, we will be respectful when we get there and we’ll just spend some peaceful time as a family.”

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