Update 11 June

The Northern Ireland Executive has outlined its pathway to a gradual easing of the current coronavirus  restrictions.

The plan sets out a step-by-step approach to the relaxation of the current regulations, as well as regular review dates to decide when restrictions can be eased.

Click here to view the plan.

Below is information on a number of sectors, detailing current restrictions and dates for relaxations. A summary of the current restrictions can be found here. A full list of all COVID-19 restrictions can be found on NIDirect.gov.uk,or NI Business Info.

The pathway set out dates for review of restrictions, which have all passed. The next review by the NI Executive will be on or before 8 July 2021.

On 10 June 2021, the NI executive agreed an indicative date of 21 June for the following:

An end to household bubbles

An increase to the number of people who can attend outdoor events. The total permitted will be decided by risk assessment.

Theatres, concert venues and other venues (including those used for conferences and exhibitions) will be able to host live audiences (subject to mitigations). Dancing will not permitted at indoor events, but may be allowed at outdoor performances.

Hospitality venues can feature live music, at ambient levels only. Dancing will not be permitted.

These decisions will be subject to review on 17 June.

The following businesses are currently permitted to open:

  • Visitor attractions
    • Indoor and outdoor attractions.
    • Contact details must be shared for contact tracing purposes.
    • Businesses must ensure adherence to social distancing guidelines where possible.
  • Hospitality businesses
    • Indoor and outdoor hospitality is now permitted for both food and drink.
    • Six people from up to six households can sit together. This number does not include children. Up to ten people may sit together if they are all from the same household.
    • Contact details must be shared for contact tracing purposes.
    • Social distancing requirement of at least 1m between tables.
  • Retail
    • All retail businesses can now reopen.
  • Accommodation
    • All tourist accommodation is now permitted to reopen.
    • Contact details must be shared for contact tracing purposes.
    • Room bookings must be in line with current guidelines on household mixing and bubbling.
    • Meeting rooms can be reopened, capacity subject to a risk assessment.
    • Weddings and receptions will be subject to a risk assessment,
    • Hospitality events (such as gala dinners) will also require a risk assessment and be subject to the same regulations as indoor hospitality.
    • Conference facilities in tourism sector – the closure will be removed from the Regulations to allow use for other purposes to risk assessment capacity.

Travel

Common Travel Area (CTA)

Anyone travelling to Northern Ireland from within the CTA, should take a lateral flow test (LFD) before travelling if they are planning on staying overnight. If the test is positive, you should not travel.

Visitors should also take an LFD on day two and day eight of their visit to Northern Ireland.

The “essential travel” requirement has been removed, and there are therefore no exemptions to this advice.

Click here for more information.

International travel

The NI Executive has published guidance for those arriving into Northern Ireland from international destinations, providing a red, amber and green list of countries. Please see here for full details.

Advice and guidance on operating safely

Sign up to ‘We’re Good to Go’ 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 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.

COVID Aware verification mark

Belfast City Council has developed a COVID Aware Scheme, which aims to assure customers that retailers are aware of and complying with the NI Executive’s regulations and public health COVID-19 guidance.

The scheme is currently only open to retail businesses, and more detail is available on the Belfast City Council website.

Operating safely during COVID-19

The NI Executive has created a guide for tourism and hospitality business to help them operate safely during COVID-19, available to view here.