Further eight coronavirus deaths in NI

Credit: PA

Eight more coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded by the Health Department in Northern Ireland.

It brings the total number of deaths to 534.

Meanwhile in the Republic of Ireland there have been a further three deaths, bringing the total there to 1,659.

The Government has outlined time-limited quarantine measures for people arriving in the UK from overseas from 8 June.

They will be told to self-isolate for 14 days to prevent cases being brought into the country from overseas, and fines could be imposed for breaches.

In a statement, the Health Department at Stormont said: "DoH is proposing to introduce regulations to require a 14-day self-isolation period for those who have been outside the common travel area within the previous 14 days.

"The level of fines has not yet been determined for Northern Ireland.

"Health authorities here and in the Republic of Ireland are working to finalise arrangements regarding information sharing.

"It will be an offence to breach the self-isolation requirements, regardless of how you have travelled to Northern Ireland."

The economy minister says reducing the two metre distancing rule to one-metre is something the Executive would "have to give thought to".

Diane Dodds was speaking at the Executive's daily Covid-19 briefing.

She said: "What we do in relation to these measures is guided by the science ... guided by the information from our chief medical officer and our chief scientific officer but it is absolutely clear that it becomes more viable for restaurants and hotels to operate under the one-metre guideline rather than the two-metre guideline."

Meanwhile the chief scientific advisor has said more nuanced advice could be prepared for the most vulnerable people who are shielding.

Fresh letters are due to go out over the coming weeks to thousands of people with serious underlying health conditions.

Professor Ian Young appeared before Stormont’s health committee on Wednesday.

"Those who have been shielding have given up a considerable sacrifice and have suffered significantly as a result of that,” he said.

“The risk to an individual if they contract the virus remains as severe as it has ever been, but as the level of transmission is much lower in the community then their risk of being exposed is less than it was in the past.

“That may allow more nuanced advice."

About 80,000 people have received official letters urging them to remain at home at all times and arrange delivery of food and medicine.

It has not been finalised how long those instructions should be extended for, or which extra distinctions could be drawn, officials said.