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Live Reporting

Amy Stewart, David Wilson, Chris Andrews, Eimear Flanagan and Colm Kelpie

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Tuesday saw the announcement of three more coronavirus-related deaths in Northern Ireland and confirmation that 55 people are receiving critical care; 36 more people died in the Republic of Ireland.

    We're closing our live coverage for tonight. Thanks for joining us today. Do check in again from 07:30 BST tomorrow morning.

    Until then, you can keep up to date with all major developments on the BBC News website.

    Stay home and stay safe.

    Full moon over the Mourne Mountains
  2. 'Stick the course'

    The Irish health minister has given police powers to enforce restrictions in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

    While progress was being made, now was not the time for complacency, Simon Harris told RTÉ's Prime Time programme.

    View more on twitter

    He said he would be signing regulations tonight to give the Gardaí the powers to enforce Covid-19 restrictions.

    He urged people to "stick the course" and continue to follow public health advice, particularly in the run-up to Easter.

  3. Darkness pierced by the light

    It's tough to find much joy amid the deluge of sad and often frightening news reports at the moment.

    So it's refreshing to see a little light in the darkness with the appearance of tonight's supermoon.

    Daryl Fegan's sons have been among many looking up during the lockdown at the spectacular sight.


    Gorgeous pictures like this are doing the rounds on social media at a time when many are looking for a little bit of positivity.

    As Robert Louis Stevenson wrote:

    "But all of the things that belong to the day

    Cuddle to sleep to be out of her way;

    And flowers and children close their eyes

    Till up in the morning the sun shall arise."

  4. Coronavirus in NI: Tuesday's key developments

    To give you a recap on where we're at with the conronavirus pandemic, here are some of today's key developments:

    • Three more coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded in Northern Ireland, bringing the total to 73
    • There have been 210 recorded deaths in the Republic of Ireland and 6,169 across the UK.
    • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is spending a second night in intensive care where his condition is described as "stable"
    • A memorandum of understanding is signed enhancing co-operation between health services in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
    • Stormont Health Minister Robin Swann says Northern Ireland has the "capacity, equipment and oxygen" to provide critical care "to those who need it"
    • He also revealed there were 55 Covid-related patients in critical care across NI and there have been cases in 20 care homes
    • The first MoT centre to be used as a testing site opens in south Belfast
    • A scheme to distribute 10,000 food parcels every week has begun
  5. The symptoms and how to protect yourself

    Coronavirus infects the lungs. The two main, key symptoms are a fever and a dry cough, which can in some cases lead to breathing problems.

    You have a fever if your temperature is above 37.8C. The cough to look out for is a new, continuous cough. This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or having three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.

    How can you protect yourself? The best thing is regular and thorough hand washing, preferably with soap and water.

    Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets - packed with the virus - into the air. These can be breathed in, or cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on, then your eyes, nose or mouth.

    To read more on symptoms and how to stay safe, click here.

    Corona graphic
  6. How to wash your hands properly

    Washing your hands is still one of the most effective ways to prevent yourself catching the virus. In case you need a refresher on how to do it right, here’s our 20-second explainer on the correct technique.

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: How to wash your hands - in 20 seconds
  7. Diabetes Network launches coronavirus helpline

    A new coronavirus helpline for people who live with diabetes has been launched here.

    The Diabetes Network for NI service will run seven days a week and will be staffed by a team of clinical specialists.

    blood sugar testing

    “People living with diabetes have been recognised as a vulnerable group in respect of Covid -19,” Dr Hamish Courtney, clinical director for the Diabetes Network says.

    There are more than 100,000 people living with diabetes across Northern Ireland.

    The specialist team can be contacted on 028 9536 0600 or via

  8. 'For the good of the community please stay home'

    Police on patrol in Londonderry tonight say some parts of the city are empty.

    But they say officers have had to speak to some groups of young people who are not adhering to government advice.

    View more on twitter
  9. US embassy cancels Independence Day celebrations

    The US ambassador in Ireland Edward F Crawford has confirmed 4 July Independence Day celebrations have been cancelled.

    "We continue to stand with Ireland as a vital partner in this important fight," wrote Mr Crawford in a statement posted to social media.

    View more on twitter
  10. Garda patrols and checkpoints to stop Easter getaways

    An Garda Síochána (Irish police) are putting on extra patrols and checkpoints to stop people travelling to holiday locations over Easter, RTÉ is reporting.

    The broadcaster says there will be additional checkpoints on a number of roads while patrols will be stepped up at parks and beauty spots as of tomorrow.

    Garda checkpoint

    It comes amid concerns some people may not adhere to government measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, RTÉ reports.

    Currently, everyone in the Republic of Ireland must stay at home and can only go out for limited reasons, including for buying food or if their work is deemed essential.

    People can only travel further than two kilometres from home if it is absolutely necessary, or for food shopping.

  11. Strabane family knew they 'might not see Dad again'

    Conor Macauley

    BBC News NI Agriculture and Environment Correspondent

    A County Tyrone family has spoken movingly of their 88-year-old father who died after contracting coronavirus.

    Jackie Farrell, 88, from Strabane, died in Altnagelvin Hospital just a day after being admitted.

    Jackie Farrell, 88, pictured here with his wife Mary who pre-deceased him

    His daughter Ursula is in intensive care having also tested positive for the virus.

    A second daughter with an underlying health condition is self-isolating and awaiting test results after developing symptoms.

    “If I’ve learned one thing it’s to value the people you love because they don’t come with a price,” said Maria, Mr Farrell's youngest daughter.

    You can read more here

  12. Curtain-and-bed-sheet scrubs arrive at Ulster

    Staff at the Ulster Hospital have taken delivery of scrubs made by volunteers.

    medical staff in home made scrubs

    Instead of the usual blue, green and red, they’re now modelling recycled curtains and kids’ bedclothes.

    doctor in psycedelic scrubs
  13. Ulster Hall to become 'food distribution centre'

    The Ulster Hall in Belfast is to be used as a food distribution centre "for vulnerable members of our society" from today.

    Both the Ulster Hall and the Waterfront Hall will remain closed "until the government ban on large-scale events is lifted", the venues said in a statement.

    Ulster Hall

    "It is envisaged that these measures will remain in place for a minimum 12-week period."

    Ticket-holders for events scheduled to be held in the coming months "will be contacted by email to confirm whether the event is cancelled or rescheduled".

  14. 'After the Covid-19 pandemic is over, I am going to...'

    The Belfast Trust has set up “Wobble Rooms” for Maternity and Neonatal staff for "when it all gets too much".

    They are places staff can go to help calm down and cope with their demanding jobs in light of the coronavirus.

    There's an "after the pandemic is over" board where staff can write down what they want to do.

    As one poster on the wall says: "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think".

    View more on twitter
  15. Coronavirus in NI: Tuesday's key developments

    If you are just joining us, here are some of today's key developments:

    • The total number of NI deaths in the coronavirus outbreak has reached 73, with three more deaths recorded on Tuesday.
    • Downing Street says PM Boris Johnson remains in critical care but his condition is "stable".
    • There are cases of Covid-19 in 20 care homes across Northern Ireland, the health minister says.
    • Northern Ireland's health system has increased its total of mechanical ventilators used in critical care to 197
    • A memorandum of understanding, enhancing cross-border co-operation with the Republic of Ireland on the response to Covid-19, has been signed between the respective health services
    • An MoT centre in Belfast has become the first to open as a Covid-19 testing site.
    • A scheme to distribute 10,000 food parcels here every week has begun.
  16. Who should wear face masks?

    face mask

    There has been a lot of confusion over who should be wearing face masks after a number of countries, including the US, advised their citizens to wear them in public to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

    But now the World Health Organisation has re-examined the evidence and its advice is clear: only those who are sick and showing symptoms of the virus - or their carers - should use face masks.

    The UK does not advise most people to wear them, and there have been concerns that reusable cloth masks could even increase the risk of infection.

    Read more here

  17. 40% of overall testing in Ireland done in past week

    Ireland's deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn has indicated that testing in the Republic of Ireland has stepped up substantially in the past week.

    About 40% of the total Covid-19 tests undertaken during the crisis have been conducted in the past seven days, he told a press conference.


    Virologist Cillian De Gascun said that for those who were not in hospital, the waiting for coronavirus test results is about seven to 10 days.

    Cases from hospitals and healthcare workers are being prioritised.

  18. PM 'stable' in intensive care

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care this evening where he is in a stable condition, a Downing Street statement says.


    It says Mr Johnson remains in ICU “for close monitoring".

    “He is in good spirits.”

    The PM was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital in central London with "persistent symptoms" of Covid-19 on Sunday and was moved to intensive care on Monday evening after his symptoms worsened

  19. 'We must not be complacent'

    Marie-Louise Connolly

    BBC News NI Health Correspondent

    We are only into week three of this new norm and it is too early for complacency.

    We have after all been told from the very start that the figures will get a lot worse before they get any better.

    social distancing

    But earlier on today the chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said that there are very, very small signs that this social distancing is working.

    So we must listen to that message. However, he said we shouldn't be complacent.

    We just all must keep doing what we're doing.

    We can do that by staying at home where possible.