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Covid-19 claims 16 more lives in Northern Ireland

This brings the total number of deaths to 294 since the start of the outbreak

Coronavirus

There have been 16 more deaths from Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

This brings the total number of deaths to 294 since the start of the outbreak.

The Department of Health confirmed the news this afternoon.

The Public Health Agency largely details those whose death occurred in either hospital or hospice setting.

The news came after a decision on Friday to reopen cemeteries, which has welcomed by Health Minister Robin Swann .

He said: “The Coronavirus Regulations are cross-cutting, significant and controversial and any amendment must be discussed and agreed by the Executive.

“The change we have agreed, informed by the expert advice from the Chief Medical Officer Michael McBride and Chief Scientific Officer, Ian Young, strike the balance between protecting public health and not inflicting further suffering on individuals.

“There are a number of people in our community who get great reassurance, mental support and strength by visiting a grave and this step now is a proportionate and empathetic response at this time.”

The Executive has also agreed to amend the Regulations to clarify the circumstances in which a person can leave the house to exercise, including reasonable travel to exercise.

For example, a drive to a safe space or facility would be permitted.

However, taking a long drive to get to a beach, or resort where numbers of people may gather is unlikely to be regarded as reasonable, even for exercise.

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