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Almost 50 Covid-19 notices issued by police in the Holyland

Nine prohibition notices were also issued in the area of south Belfast over two nights.

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PSNI officers have been patrolling the student area of Belfast known as the Holyland (Liam McBurney/PA)

PSNI officers have been patrolling the student area of Belfast known as the Holyland (Liam McBurney/PA)

PSNI officers have been patrolling the student area of Belfast known as the Holyland (Liam McBurney/PA)

Police have issued 47 Covid-19 notices and nine prohibition notices over the last two nights in the Holyland area of Belfast.

A 16-year-old male was also arrested for possession of Class B drugs with intent to supply during the same period.

The PSNI have said the ongoing operation is aimed at anti-social and criminal activity in the South Belfast neighbourhood.

An additional 24 Covid-19 notices and four prohibition notices were issued over Friday and Saturday night in the Stranmillis area.

It comes as scores of university students arrive in Belfast ahead of the new academic year.

There was widespread condemnation last week of large crowds in the Holyland area amid tighter coronavirus restrictions in Belfast which discourage the mixing of households and gatherings of more than six people in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.

There are fixed-penalty notices of £60, which are reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days, for breaking coronavirus regulations.

The penalty can be doubled each time a subsequent offence is detected, and if court proceedings are taken the fine available on summary conviction is up to £5,000.

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Police are maintaining a presence in the Holyland area of Belfast (Rebecca Black/PA)

Police are maintaining a presence in the Holyland area of Belfast (Rebecca Black/PA)

PA

Police are maintaining a presence in the Holyland area of Belfast (Rebecca Black/PA)

Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said the policing operation will continue over the coming days.

“It is disappointing and frustrating that once again we need to remind people of the importance of following the clear and specific advice, guidance and warnings issued by ourselves, the health minister, universities and others,” he said.

“Our robust policing operation will continue over the coming days with our partner agencies, including representatives from Belfast City Council and both universities.

“If you have moved to the Holyland area or are visiting the area, you must adhere to the health protection regulations to protect yourselves and others from Covid-19.”

PA