A DUP MLA who is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 has criticised mourners who appeared to break restrictions at a loyalist funeral.
More than 100 people - among them several prominent loyalist figures - gathered in north Belfast on Friday to pay their respects to Hugh Hill, the Sunday Life revealed.
The current regulations state no more than 25 people are allowed to attend services. No pre or post-funeral gatherings are permitted and wakes cannot take place.
DUP MLA Mervyn Storey, who said he has tested positive for Covid, said on Sunday night there should be "consequences" for anyone who breached regulations.
"Whether you are a loyalist or a republican, or anybody else - the same rules should apply," he said. "We are in the middle of a pandemic and I think it's a very sad situation that people seem to have very little regard for their own health and wellbeing, let alone the health and wellbeing of others.
"It's sad that we've got to the situation where people think they can do this and think there will be no consequences."
Ulster Unionist health spokesman Alan Chambers said: "Funerals are not Covid-free zones and the police clearly need to be proactive in ensuring that where regulations are alleged to have been breached, a full investigation is conducted."
More than 100 mourners, many unmasked, walked behind the UVF flag-covered coffin of Hill. The 58-year-old, who died suddenly last weekend, was formerly No 2 in the East Antrim UVF, the Sunday Life reported.
Hill was one of a dozen Mount Vernon UVF members who were jailed for a 1997 attack on LVF men in the Golden Hind pub in Portadown during a feud.
Officers watched as the loyalist's cortege left Hill's home on Gainsborough Drive in north Belfast en route to Roselawn Cemetery for cremation.
PSNI chiefs - who spoke with the organisers beforehand - did not intervene.
Chief Inspector Darren Fox said: "Regrettably, at the funeral on Friday morning, a significant number of people gathered as part of the cortege in a manner likely to be in breach of the health protection regulations. As a result, police have commenced an investigation into the matter."
Mr Fox said that after being told the loyalist's funeral had the potential to breach lockdown rules, senior PSNI figures spoke to the organisers.
He added: "As a result, police engaged beforehand with representatives of the family of the deceased, funeral director and local community representatives.
"Across these engagements, police emphasised the need for adherence to the current health protection regulations and sought assurances from those with influence."
The Tiger's Bay loyalist's funeral took place days after that of IRA man Eamonn McCourt in Londonderry.
That funeral is also being investigated for potential breaches of the Covid-19 regulations. Sinn Fein confirmed some of its members were present.