// Northern Ireland’s Health Minister Robin Swann suggests only allowing double-vaccinated people to access high street voucher scheme
// The scheme would see individuals issued with pre-paid cards of a value of up to £100, which could be used in shops, but not online
// A similar voucher scheme is being considered in Scotland, as well as some local council areas in Wales
Northern Ireland’s health minister has suggested he may support only allowing people who are double-vaccinated to cash in on a Stormont-backed high street voucher scheme.
Robin Swann said he would be interested in bringing the idea to the Northern Ireland Executive as an incentive to persuade more people to get jabbed.
It comes amid reports that a number of hospitals in Northern Ireland are struggling to cope with a surge in Covid-19 admissions due to the latest wave of infections spurred on by the Delta variant.
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The Belfast Trust has said that 60 per cent of people admitted to hospitals in its area have not been vaccinated.
Stormont’s Department of Economy announced the high street voucher scheme last year to support traders hit by lockdown restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The scheme would see individuals issued with pre-paid cards of a value of up to £100, which could be used in shops, but not online.
Swann was asked about linking the voucher scheme with the vaccination programme during an appearance on the BBC Nolan Show.
“It is something I will have the discussion about and raise with the Executive committee certainly, in regards to an incentive for people to come forward and get vaccinated,” he said.
“But it would also have to be retrospective because I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone who has already been vaccinated.”
A similar voucher scheme is being considered in Scotland, as well as some local council areas in Wales.
with PA Wires