Extension of the Northern Ireland coronavirus lockdown

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FoI 10-21

29 March 2021

Freedom of Information Act 2000

I am writing to confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) does not hold the information, which you requested on 05 March 2021.  In your request you asked for the following information:

“Please provide a list of all Members of the Local Assembly (MLA) who were involved in the decision making process to extend the current NI lockdown period from 18 Feb 2021 and those MLA’s who supported the decision to extend the current lockdown from 18 Feb 2021 including an overview detailing whether the MLA supported or rejected the decision to support an extension to the current lockdown from 18 Feb 2021.”

The Assembly Commission does not hold this information but does hold information relevant to your request.

Regulations (in the form of statutory rules) and guidance providing for lockdown arrangements are made by the Northern Ireland Executive Ministers.

Statutory rules are then laid before the Northern Ireland Assembly and, where subject to Assembly procedure, are considered by the Assembly.  

The statutory rule which extended the lockdown review period is SR 46/2021 The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (Amendment No. 5) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021.  This statutory rule was made on 1 March 2021 by the Minister of Health.

The statutory rule is published, and available on the legislation.gov.uk website.

The Explanatory Memorandum, which explains the statutory rule, is also published on that website.

Information about the Assembly’s consideration of this statutory rule is published on the Assembly’s website. Here you will find a link to the report of the Assembly’s Examiner of Statutory Rules on this statutory rule.

You will also find a link to the Committee for Health web pages, which contain information on Committee membership. The Committee considered this statutory rule on 18 March 2021. Once agreed by the Committee, the minutes of this meeting will be published on the Committee’s web pages.

On 23 March 2021, the Assembly debated this statutory rule in plenary session.  The Official Report of the debate on this statutory rule is published on the Assembly’s website.

Following debate, the Assembly approved this statutory rule, without division. This means that the statutory rule was agreed without a physical vote by Members passing through the division lobbies to record individual support for, or opposition to, the statutory rule. The Official Report (link above) includes the views expressed on the statutory rule in contributions by the Minister and other MLAs who participated in the debate.


You have the right to request a formal review by the Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address.

If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review.

The Assembly Commission may publish details of your FOI request and our official response within the organisational disclosure log. The request will be completely anonymised and you will not be identified in any way. This is to meet the requirements as laid out by in the agreed publication scheme with the Information Commissioners’ Office

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above.

Yours sincerely