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DUP Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has written to Health Minister Robin Swann asking him to provide the data that backs up the need for the latest raft of restrictions imposed across Northern Ireland.

Carla Lockhart said:

“Every time an individual uses the Department of Health’s covid-19 test system, a significant amount of data is collected. For every positive case, the Department of Health will know the seven digit post code both for the person’s home and their place of work as well as their nationality, their access to a vehicle, their employment status, the sector they work in and their job title.

Why therefore can the Department of Health not publish how many people in each sector have tested positive? It would be utterly logical to place limits on certain sectors if the Health Minister was to announce that x% of people tested in this sector have had a positive result. That would evidence that there is problem in that sector which needs addressed.

It is only fair that those bearing the brunt of restrictions are given the data that supports these drastic decisions. So far, that data has not been made public. There can be no justification for such secrecy. Transparency is vital to these measures being supported.

I have asked Robin Swann to detail the rates across various aspects of hospitality, of close contact services, of various sports and indeed weddings and funerals. We also need to see the evidence pertaining to schools.

Such data will help shape how sectors adapt and change to stop this spread but the Minister so far has decided not to publish this information.”