Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, additional restrictions have been introduced for people living in Northern Ireland. These new restrictions have been put in place to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and to help manage the pressures on our health and social care system. New regulations were introduced on 16 October 2020 and will be in place for four weeks. Details of these regulations can be found by following the NI tag on the right of this page.
The Northern Ireland Executive has reintroduced restrictions on the number of people that can meet in a dwelling. It is now not possible for people in Northern Ireland to make social visits to other people's homes. Six people from two households can, however, meet outdoors - in a private garden.
Speaking to the nation on 22 September, the First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said their motives were to "protect as many lives and livelihoods as we can." Each stressed that large parts of the economy would remain open and the Executive would meet again shortly to agree next steps. Currently, two metres remains the default position on social distancing.
Currently, caravan parks, camping sites and self-catering tourist accommodation all remain open. Hotels and visitor attractions can also remain open, providing they follow the advice issued by the Executive.
7th October update:
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced the latest restrictions to be imposed in the fight against COVID-19.
New restrictions will be imposed for hospitality (food and drink premises) from today - for 16 days - to Sunday 25 October, with restrictions on opening hours and selling alcohol across Scotland. To address increasing concerns in a number of Health Board areas in the Central Belt, greater restrictions will be imposed – in these areas, licenced premises should close (with exceptions noted in the guidance). More in depth information can be found on the Scotland specific web page.
22nd September Update:
The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced further restrictions for the hospitality sector, including reduced trading hours.
She also announced a ban on meeting inside other people's homes. However, up to six people from two households can meet outdoors, or in hospitality venues such as restaurants. The latest Scottish guidance on staying safe and protecting others can be found here
In her message to the people of Scotland on 22 September, she advised them to work from home wherever possible.
Whilst two metres remains the default social distancing position, there are some scenarios where one metre may be used, provided other risk mitigation measures are followed. More information on the additional risk mitigation measures which should be followed can be found here.
The Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford announced today that without further action taken with the rising cases of COVID that the NHS will once again become overwhelmed. During the announcement he said Wales is now set to implement a short 'fire break' with tighter restrictions from Friday (23/10/20) at 6pm for two weeks. Further details can be found under the 'Wales' tab to the right of this page.
The Welsh Government has similarly updated its guidance in light of the growing number of infections across the UK.
Speaking to the nation on 22 September, the First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that some hospitality businesses, including cafes and restaurants would be subject to reduced trading hours. However, up to 30 people can meet outdoors. Indoors, four households can form an "extended household" to include a maximum of six at any one time. Children under 12 are exempt and will not count towards that total.
Two metres remains the default social distancing guidance.
On 15 May the Welsh Government published its exit strategy ‘Unlocking our society and economy: continuing the conversation’. The exit strategy outlines the traffic-light system that will be used for the phasing and lifting of further restrictions across Wales.
We are following the situation closely in the Devolved Administrations and would encourage our members to check back regularly for updates.
In related sections we have answered some of your frequently asked questions about the support available to businesses in the Devolved Administrations. This is to help you understand what support is UK-wide and which measures are restricted.