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One further death from Covid-19 in Northern Ireland as 726 new cases confirmed

A total of 1,500 penalties and notices have to date been issued by the PSNI in response to breaches of Covid-19 regulations

Covid testing Armagh

A total of 726 positive cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Northern Ireland.

And there has been one further death as a result of coronavirus.

There are currently 65 people in hospital, with nine of those in intensive care units.

The information was provided by the Department of Health and takes account of the past 24 hour period, where a total of 8,412 tests were carried out.

It comes as figures reveal a total of 1,500 penalties and notices have to date been issued by the PSNI in response to breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

This includes penalty notices for disorder – a total of 707 in all – and community resolution notices – 762 of them – issued for breaches of the health protection regulations.

It also takes in prohibition notices, of which 23 were served on licensed premises and eight on private addresses.

These most up-to-date figures available take account of the whole period since restrictions were introduced in Northern Ireland up until 10am on Tuesday week past, September 22.

The information was given by Justice Minister Naomi Long in response to a question tabled by Upper Bann MLA Doug Beattie MC.

The Ulster Unionist representative had sought a breakdown of the number of penalties issued in response to suspected breaches of COVID-19 regulations and the Minister’s assessment of the number of penalties in relation to the number of breaches.

Minister Long provided figures from police but said it was important to note that the PSNI is not the only organisation with the power to issue fixed penalties in respect of breaches of COVID regulations.

She explained that local councils, Border Force and any other body designated by the Department of Health can also issue fixed penalty notices.

Said Minister Long: “The total number of reports received by PSNI via all channels (telephone, in person and online) relating to Covid is 12,131.

“The number of reports may contain multiple reports of the same alleged breach and alleged breaches which upon further investigation proved not to be breaches.

“Further, the number of reports received by other enforcement bodies is not available to the Department. It is, therefore, difficult to assess with any certainty the total number of breaches of the regulations which have occurred.”

She said the figures also included “proactive action by PSNI as well as reports”.

And in terms of offering her assessment on the number of penalties – as requested by Doug Beattie MC – she added: “Decisions relating to the issuing of FPNs are an operational matter for the Chief Constable.”

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