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Man slapped with four Covid notices within hours as police continue Belfast Holyland party patrols

Students advised against weekend home return

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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)

A young man has racked up fines of £240 after being served with four Covid notices in south Belfast on Tuesday.

Police said he "continued to disregard" their advice as they again were forced to act on Holyland gatherings and house parties.

"People need to stop this behaviour," said Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick.

It comes as Economy Minister Diane Dodds revealed 27 students had been sanctioned by Queen's University.

Police said a total of 40 Covid notices, 12 prohibition notices and three Community Resolution Notices were issued on Tuesday through to the early hours of Wednesday morning as part of the ongoing operation to address antisocial and criminal activity in the area.

It brings to 237 the total number of Covid notices served over the past week, along with 42 prohibition notices and 14 Community Resolution Notices.

Students have also been asked to "think carefully" about whether they should go home at weekends amid coronavirus fears this winter.

Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Ian Young warned Northern Ireland could be recording 600 new coronavirus infections a day in a month's time.

Professor Young said he was advising students not to travel home from university at weekend unless it is absolutely necessary.

"I would ask students to think carefully about whether they need to go home at weekends and whether that's the best thing to do," he told BBC NI's Nolan radio programme.

"If you go home at the weekend to see your family, please be especially careful with anyone who is older or vulnerable, not to go too near them."

Chief Inspector Gavin Kirkpatrick said one young male received his first notice just after 4.30pm on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, this male continued to disregard advice throughout the evening and was issued with additional Covid notices, resulting in a fine of £240," he said.

"Once again, last night through to the early hours of this morning, police, council officers and university representatives engaged with large numbers of people attending parties and gathering on the street at various locations," he said.

“It is unacceptable that some people are still disregarding the Health Protection Regulations, putting themselves, their families and the local community at risk.

"Our operation will continue over the coming days and we will continue to work alongside council officers and University representatives to offer advice and guidance. Police officers will continue to issue notices as required until people take responsibility for their actions."

Meanwhile, Economy Minister Diane Dodds has told the Economy Committee that 27 students so far have been suspended from Queen's University Belfast for up to two weeks for breaching coronavirus guidelines.

She issued a warning to students to "obey the rules" or risk harming their future career prospects.

On Tuesday, Queen's University Belfast confirmed to the Belfast Telegraph a number of students have been suspended from their courses for a period of two weeks following the Holyland disorder.

A spokesperson for the university said: "[QUB] investigates every complaint it receives and applies disciplinary measures as appropriate in accordance with our student code of conduct regulations.

"In addition, if the University receives notification of a COVID breach from the PSNI, students will be suspended with immediate effect for 14 days. Ulster University have introduced a similar policy."

Ulster University and Belfast Met have been asked if they have issued sanctions. They have so far not responded.

Belfast Telegraph