'Sweeping new powers' from Stormont to combat the spread of coronavirus

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New powers have been introduced to enforce government guidelines on staying at home and businesses remaining closed here during the coronavirus crisis.

The regulations were published by the Stormont Executive late on Saturday night.

They include being able to force businesses to shut and a crackdown on people leaving their homes without "a reasonable excuse."

Penalties range from fixed penalty notices to fines of up to £5,000.







Green Party NI leader Clare Bailey has commented on new Covid-19 powers.

The MLA said: “These new powers are unprecedented but they are necessary and proportionate given the extraordinary challenge we face.

“Every measure is aimed at saving lives as well as saving our NHS as this pandemic takes effect.

“I fully expect that the majority of people and businesses will continue to do the right thing. Sanctions are in place for those who put lives at risk by choosing to do otherwise.

“Where possible, people need to stay at home, wash their hands and to observe social distancing at all times in public places.”

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