Northern Ireland will introduce “sweeping new powers” to combat the spread of coronavirus from 2300 GMT with many restrictions on businesses tougher than the rest of the United Kingdom.
The British region will prohibit anyone from leaving home without reasonable excuse, compel certain premises to shut and use its power of direction to close or restrict businesses that do not ensure employees’ safety, its devolved government said.
The number of coronavirus deaths in Northern Ireland rose by two to a total of 15 on Saturday, while 324 people had tested positive, the Public Health Agency said.
Ireland, which shares an open border with Northern Ireland, has so far reported 2,415 cases and 34 deaths. It ordered citizens on Friday to stay home until April 12, with most only able to leave to shop for groceries and for brief exercise.