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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: One further death as First Minister Foster hints at social distancing change

  • NI death toll at 546 people

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Arlene Foster

Arlene Foster

PA

Arlene Foster

Another person has died in Northern Ireland after contracting coronavirus, the Department of Health has confirmed.

The NI death toll remains at 546 people.

Two patients with Covid-19 are in intensive care and 45 care homes are dealing with an outbreak, with 20 other homes dealing with suspected cases.

Testing has also resulted in no new cases being diagnosed.

It comes as First Minister Arlene Foster said the Executive should "consider the science" of reducing social distancing from two metres to one.

Her comments followed after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the rule change in England.

Posting on Twitter, Arlene Foster said: "Very significant announcement. I was speaking with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster [Michael Gove] in advance of this announcement.

"Important for NI Executive to consider the science of this decision. Glad HMG will share it. From 2-1m is transformational for many sectors."

Economy Minister Diane Dodds, who has been vocal in supporting lower the social distancing rule, added: "Today's announcement by the Prime Minister that social distancing will be reduced from two metres to one metre will be of significant interest to our leisure, hospitality and tourism sectors and I will be raising the issue with my Executive colleagues."

Here's how Tuesday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph