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Police chief and CMO on patrol as licensed premises closed for Covid-19 breach

Simon Byrne and Dr Michael McBride joined officers in Belfast city centre on Saturday night to ensure compliance with coronavirus regulations.

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Officers are cracking down on bars and restaurants flouting Covid-19 rules (PA)

Officers are cracking down on bars and restaurants flouting Covid-19 rules (PA)

Officers are cracking down on bars and restaurants flouting Covid-19 rules (PA)

Northern Ireland’s police chief and chief medical officer were on patrol in Belfast when officers closed a licensed premises for breaching coronavirus regulations.

The prohibition order was the latest of 33 that have so far been issued in the region as officers attempt to crack down on bars and restaurants flouting Covid-19 rules.

An order does not automatically lead to the closure of an establishment.

Chief Constable Simon Byrne and chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride accompanied a routine patrol in the city centre as checks and inspections were carried out on Saturday night.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants are subject to a series of restrictions under the coronavirus regulations, including a stipulation that alcohol can only be served indoors if accompanied by a meal.

On Sunday morning, Mr Byrne tweeted: “Unfortunately, while out with @PSNIBelfast last night we had to issue one prohibition notice which resulted in officers closing an establishment. It is vital that the @niexecutive #Covid19 regulations are strictly followed in order to keep the community safe.”

The patrols to ensure compliance in licensed premises are part of the PSNI’s efforts to uphold the region’s Covid-19 regulations.

Last week, two people were handed £1,000 fines for breaching international travel regulations that require travellers arriving from countries not on Northern Ireland’s safe travel list to self-isolate for two weeks.

On Friday, the PSNI said there had been 745 community resolution notices and 479 fines issued over coronavirus regulations since March.

At that point, no fines had been issued in relation to the wearing of face masks on public transport.

There were 106 new confirmed cases of coronavirus reported by the region’s Department of Health on Sunday.

While the department’s statistical dashboard provides updates on the number of positive test results over the weekend, it does not relay up-to-date information on coronavirus fatalities on Saturdays and Sundays.

The latest death toll reported by the department on Friday stood at 564.

PA