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Live Reporting

Laura McDaid, Ali Gordon, David Wilson and Eimear Flanagan

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all folks...

    ...for another day anyway.

    Goodnight. Stay home, stay safe and remember to keep washing those hands.

    The BBC News NI website will continue to keep you up to date with all the latest news over the weekend.

  2. 'Stay at home, then you will save lives'

    Simon Harris

    The Irish health minister has told RTÉ's Late Late Show that a list of "essential workers" in the Republic of Ireland would be provided over the weekend.

    It comes after Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar announced further restrictions to public life in the Republic of Ireland.

    Simon Harris added: "We can all feel powerless but individuals have huge power - more than the HSE and the government.

    "If you do as we ask and that is to stay at home, then you will save lives."

  3. How safe is takeaway food and grocery shopping?

    Shopper with lines on floor to mark social distancing in a supermarket

    If coronavirus can be transferred on to surfaces, safe food shopping presents challenges.

    How safe are takeaways and supermarket deliveries?

    Chinese takeaway

    If coronavirus can be transferred on to surfaces, what are the risks of buying food?

    Read more
  4. Stay local to exercise, says government

    The UK government has said people should "stay local" and not travel unnecessarily for exercise.

    New advice clarifies that people must use "open spaces" near to home, where possible.

    woman looking at field

    It follows confusion over whether people could drive places to go walking, running, or cycling.

    Exercise is one of the few defined reasons that people in the UK are allowed to leave their home during the coronavirus pandemic.

    You can read more here.

  5. NW200 champion hopes event may take place later in year

    Alastair Seeley, who has won a record 24 North West 200 races, hopes the 2020 event may still take place later in the year after being postponed because of the coronavirus health crisis.

    The organisers announced last week that the race meeting would not go ahead in its usual mid-May dates.

    Alastair Seeley

    However, that left open the possibility that it could be rescheduled.

    "I look forward to the North West every year. I'd love to see it go ahead at some stage in the year," said Seeley.

    You can read more here

  6. Increase in domestic abuse incidents 'post-lockdown'

    The Chief Constable Simon Byrne says there has been an increase in the number of domestic abuse incidents reported to police since the most recent restrictions on people leaving their homes, compared to the week before.

    "Compared to the previous seven days, if you like, before lockdown, we have seen 20 more incidents of domestic abuse,” Mr Byrne said.

    Domestic violence

    “So far fortunately, it’s not a dramatic increase, but we are monitoring all sorts of different crime and incident levels every day," he said.

    “By comparison, the number of calls to 101 have dropped by a quarter so I think it’s something we’ll keep a close eye on.

    “As people frankly spend more and more time together, we’re acutely aware of the risk and the need to protect vulnerable people.”

  7. Tesco restricts online orders to 80 items each

    Supermarket Tesco has said that online shoppers will have their deliveries capped at 80 items from now on.

    In an email to customers, it said the move was "to increase the number of customers we can safely deliver to".


    It is the latest move by supermarkets to safeguard people and supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Tesco has already limited all products to a maximum of three per customer, whether they shop online or in stores.

    Read more here.

  8. NI college develops reusable masks for frontline workers

    Earlier this week the government called for help in producing personal protective equipment (PPE).

    These will be used by frontline workers such as healthcare staff and police officers.

    One local college has designed a reusable mask and says it is awaiting government approval.

    View more on twitter
  9. Republic of Ireland introduces stronger measures

    Leo Varadkar announced a raft of new measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.

    He said: "From midnight tonight, everyone must stay at home, other than to travel to and from work and only when work is an essential service, to shop for food or collect a meal, to collect health or medical products, to take brief exercise as long as you adhere to physical distancing. All public gatherings are prohibited."


    This includes social family visits.

    “We are not prisoners of fate. We can influence what’s going to happen next,” Mr Varadkar said.

    Everyone must stay at home except:

    • Essential workers travelling to and from work
    • Shopping for food
    • Attending medical appointments
    • Caring for children and elderly
    • Brief exercise within two kilometres of home
    • For "vital" family reasons
  10. 'It is not going to get any easier'

    Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris says the public must "accept these temporary but difficult restrictions."

    woman in mask

    "It is not going to get any easier in the days ahead, but the further measures are needed in order to give ourselves the best chance of reducing the spread of the virus and save lives."

    He says the actions of every individual "can make all the difference."

    "We must ask ourselves constantly can we do more."

  11. Further measures 'neccessary'

    The Republic of Ireland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says there are signs measures implemented so far have been working.


    But he said the further measures announced tonight are necessary.

    Dr Holohan said that the daily increase in cases has slowed down, "relative to what we might have expected a number of weeks ago".

    "But this does not tell us that the worst is over - it tells us that we are having some early impact.

    "The worst is not yet over, and while we are in the early stages of the outbreak here, the two-week stay-at-home notice is needed," he said.

  12. Taoiseach: Exercise 'within 2kms of home'

    People in the Republic of Ireland can leave home for brief periods of exercise, but cannot travel more than 2kms to do so, Mr Varadkar said.

    He also confirmed all non-emergency surgery is to be postponed, and that shielding or cocooning will be introduced for all those over 70 or vulnerable.


    "Freedom was hard won in our country, and it jars with us to limit liberty, even temporarily," he said.

    But the taoiseach said he was "appealing to every man woman and child to make these sacrifices, not out of self-interest, but out of love for each other".

    He added: "The whole world is suffering during this pandemic and Ireland is no different. What happens next is up to each and every one of us."

  13. Further Covid-19 restrictions to public life in Ireland

    Further restrictions have been announced to public life in the Republic of Ireland.

    Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said "now is the time for further action".

    He said from midnight on Friday, for a two week period until Easter Sunday, everyone must stay at home unless their work was essential or they were buying food.

    Twenty two people with coronavirus have died in the country.

    Leo Varadkar
  14. A week of empty streets, dire warnings and grieving families

    This week, we've been publishing headlines we never imagined we would have to write. Our colleagues at BBC Newsline have put together this video showing how everyday life has changed dramatically in just a few short days.

    View more on twitter
  15. Struggling social housing tenants 'will not be evicted'

    Deirdre Hargey

    Social housing tenants facing difficulties paying rent will not be evicted during the Covid-19 period, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has said.

    The Northern Ireland Housing Executive has also sourced accommodation for people who are homeless.

    "I want to assure renters, homeowners and those in a homeless situation, that I am putting measures in place to provide crucial support," Ms Hargey told BBC News NI.

    She added that her department is working with the Public Health Agency and health trusts to implement its surge plan and ensure the safety of those in homeless accommodation.

  16. Covid-19 NI app launched

    A new smartphone app to give people here immediate advice and useful information about coronavirus has been launched by Stormont's Department of Health.

    The Covid-19 NI app includes guidance on the symptoms of the infection and advice about what you should do if think you might have coronavirus.

    covid -19 app

    "I recognise that people in Northern Ireland need access to up to date information at this worrying time and this vital initiative will complement all the other work we are doing across our health and care services," says Health Minster Robin Swann.

    "Getting easily accessible advice to the public early is one way of helping to ease the pressure on frontline healthcare services."

    He says the department's digital team, and local companies Civica and Big Motive had delivered the app with "unparalleled speed".

    The Covid-19 NI app is now available to download.

  17. Translink deep clean bus fleet regularly

    Translink NI tweet:

    In a video posted to Twitter, Translink NI have shown how they deep clean their fleet of Glider busses.

    View more on twitter