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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: 19 deaths and 426 new cases

  • Death toll rises to 1,850
  • Dodds accuses EU of letting 'mask slip' over vaccine row
  • Irish police to get emergency powers to stop NI drivers

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Northern Ireland is in lockdown until March

Northern Ireland is in lockdown until March

PA

Northern Ireland is in lockdown until March

A further 19 people have died with Coronavirus in Northern Ireland, according to the Department of Health.

The death toll has risen to 1,850.

In terms of testing, 3,811 have contracted the virus in the past seven days. That is down from 5,095 the previous week.

In total over 776,000 people have been tested and 103,960 found positive.

Coronavirus Data Graphs

Hospital occupancy is at 90%. There are 731 people in hospital with Covid and 69 are in intensive care.

There are 127 care homes dealing with an outbreak.

Sunday's covid figures comes as DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said the EU let its "mask slip" when it moved to over-ride part of the Brexit agreement on Northern Ireland to control shipments of coronavirus jabs.

After invoking Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol on Friday evening, the bloc later reversed the decision following an outraged reaction in London, Dublin and Belfast.

Lord Dodds told the BBC's Sunday Politics programme that the EU set a "precedent".

His party has been voicing opposition to the Protocol on a number of grounds, including issues facing hauliers and the military facing additional checks while bringing equipment into Northern Ireland.

"I think that the mask slipped on Friday night because the EU and others had been lecturing everybody ... that there could never be under any circumstances whatsoever any kind of hard border on the island of Ireland," he explained.

"And that to do anything to over-ride any of the Protocol provisions would be an anathema, and then in one fell swoop on Friday night it did both of those things ... never mind the fact that it was aimed at vaccines, which is aimed at helping people overcome this terrible Covid pandemic."

Meanwhile, Gardai are set to get tougher powers to fine NI day-trippers if they travel more than three miles over the border according to reports.

Irish police officers are set to be given emergency powers in order to enforce the measure by the Republic’s Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly.

Under the new rules, motorists from Northern Ireland can be ordered to leave the jurisdiction, the Sunday Times has reported.

The Republic’s lockdown, in place until March 5, restricts travel to just 5km - or 3.1 miles - unless it is essential.

Those found in breach face fines of €100, however, this currently does not apply to those travelling from Northern Ireland.

The new regulation is expected to specifically target non-residents from travelling more than three miles into the south, with high-visibility checkpoints being established on main routes from Northern Ireland into the Republic, such as the M1, N2 and M3.

Belfast Telegraph


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