Referring to new powers to fine drivers making non-essential journeys, PSNI have said their dealings with drivers over the coming weeks will focus on providing guidance and responses will be 'proportionate'.
ACC Alan Todd said: “In light of the Prime Minister’s announcement last night that everyone must stay at home except in exceptional circumstances, and that police will have new enforcement powers in relation to Covid-19, I would like to provide some clarity and reassurance about what this means.
“We are fully behind the new measures announced by the UK government and Northern Ireland Executive to increase social distancing, and I urge everyone to adhere to them.
“The new legislation is expected imminently and we will carefully consider the implications this will have on allowing us to act in support of public health officials. I would remind everyone these measures have been introduced to save lives during this global emergency.
“In the meantime, PSNI officers will continue to serve its communities in order to protect life and ensure the safety and wellbeing of people. Today, and in coming days, our officers will be there to explain what these changes mean for different members of the public, sections of community and businesses affected.
“We will be working through the finer details of this legislation over the coming days. Therefore, until the new legislation is in place, we will be increasing police patrols in key areas across Northern Ireland to engage with and provide guidance to anyone who contravenes the measures.
“When the legislation is active we will continue to provide guidance to those who are failing to comply with these life-saving measures. Our response will be proportionate, however at times we will have no option but to enforce them for the greater good of everyone.
“Our priority throughout these challenging times remain to keep people safe and protect our communities. Please, help us keep you safe by adhering to these new measures.”