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29 Mar 2020 | 03:11 PM UTC

UK: Northern Ireland implements further domestic restrictions as of March 28 /update 10

Northern Ireland implements further domestic restrictions as of March 28 due to COVID-19 outbreak; abide by government directives



On Saturday, March 28, Northern Ireland's government introduced a series of quarantine measures, effective immediately, to prevent further spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Per the directive, all individuals will be prohibited from leaving their homes "without a reasonable excuse." Non-essential businesses, including pubs, restaurants, cafes, and cinemas, will be closed with limited exceptions. Additionally, gatherings of more than two people outside of the same household will be banned, except where the gathering is "essential for work purposes." Those found in violation of the measures will be subject to a fine.

To date, there are more than 320 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Northern Ireland, with 15 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.