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Six more deaths reported in NI as police patrol parks to prevent spread

Six more people have died as a result of coronavirus Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, the Public Health Agency has announced.

It is the biggest single day increase since the outbreak of coronavirus with the death toll in Northern Ireland now standing at 21.

From 11pm on Saturday new rules came into force aiming to halt the spread of Covid-19.

Police have been patrolling local parks hours after new powers came into place to enforce social distancing.

The PSNI shared pictures on social media of officers at Gosford Forest Park, Clare Glen and Peatlands Park.

All of these – and others – would usually be thronged with visitors on a Sunday afternoon, particularly as the weather improves.

But this is no ordinary Sunday.

On Saturday night, from 11pm, the PSNI was granted new powers to fine and issue fixed penalties to people who had left home “without reasonable excuse”.

And to show that these powers are being taken seriously, the PSNI shared its intentions on social media.

They said: “We are conducting patrols to encourage you to adhere to the Northern Ireland Executive’s direction on COVID-19.

“We are talking to anyone we see to make sure we all know what we should be doing to keep everyone safe.”

All parks are currently closed and should not be used.

And there is a ban of gatherings of more than two people.

The PSNI had said: “Protect your family, friends and all of those providing vital services by preventing large gatherings in popular beauty spots and open areas. We will be conducting patrols to ensure that everyone is following the direction set by the Northern Ireland Executive.”

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