Update 18 December:
The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to a new set of coronavirus restrictions, set to last for six-weeks from 26 December, with a review after four weeks.
These restrictions include:
- closure of all non-essential retail, (defined as it was in March 2020) with no click and collect services permitted (delivery is allowed)
- Hospitality businesses can open for takeaway and delivery food services until 11pm.
- Hotels may stay open to accommodate Christmas bookings until Monday 28 December, but must close after that, with exemptions for work travel, key workers and emergency accommodation
- Visitor attractions and leisure activities will not be permitted to open.
There will be additional restrictions in the first week of the new lockdown (26 December to 2 January), during which time all businesses that are permitted to trade must close between the hours of 8pm and 6am, and outdoor exercise will only be permitted within households.
A summary of the current restrictions can be found here.
Advice and guidance on operating safely
Sign up to new Industry Standard with Tourism NI and national counterparts across the UK
Tourism NI and the national tourism bodies of England, Scotland and Wales have rolled out a new UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to provide reassurance to businesses, customers and communities that safe working guidelines around COVID-19 have been adopted.
The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark allows businesses to sign-up and commit to implementing the relevant Government and public health guidance, including undertaking a COVID-19 risk assessment. Businesses can in turn use the licensed mark as part of their communications.
The free scheme is now open to tourism businesses.
To get the mark, businesses need to complete a registration process through the ‘We’re Good to Go’ online platform goodtogoni.com and will go through a number of steps to verify they have put the necessary processes in place to re-open safely.
Businesses will then receive a certificate and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark for display in their premises and online.
Businesses across the UK will be agreeing to operate in accordance with their respective national guidance, including the social distancing and cleanliness protocols that must be in place.
In Northern Ireland, businesses should align with the ‘Working Safely During Covid-19 in the Visitor Economy’ guidance above, as well as the legislative regulations and restrictions set out by the NI Executive.
A benefit of participating in the standard includes a notification system to alert businesses to any changes to the official guidance. A call-handling service will also provide registration support.
Accommodation, visitor attractions, restaurants and pubs, business conference and events venues and tour and coach operators are currently eligible to apply. For further information on the standard visit: covid19.tourismni.com/goodtogo.
Other Useful Links
- Northern Ireland Hotel Federation: nihf.co.uk/coronavirus-updates
- Hospitality Ulster: hospitalityulster.org/support/HU-Guidance-On-Coronavirus
Government Guidance and Financial Support
- Risk Assessment Tools (Health and Safety Executive: hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/index.htm
- Food Standards Agency: food.gov.uk/business-guidance/reopening-checklist-for-food-businesses-during-covid-19
- NI Direct: nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19
- Support to Businesses: gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support or nibusinessinfo.co.uk/campaign/coronavirus-updates-support-your-business