Coronavirus (COVID-19): regulation updates and what they mean for you

Information on the easing of the coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations and advice on what this means for you.

What the changes mean for you

The NI Executive has been updating the current restrictions that have been put in place due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. There is information below on what these changes mean for you.

This includes advice on:

Family and friends

Activity Yes/No Advice
Going to your parents' house No Under the current Regulations indoor gatherings of people who do not share the same household are not permitted.

Meeting your parents' garden if they are over 70

Yes You can meet up to six people outdoors as long as you maintain social distancing by being at least 2 metres apart and maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene practices. People who are over 70 are considered to be more vulnerable and therefore should be extremely careful in adhering to social distancing and hand hygiene.
To meet up outdoors with someone who is pregnant Yes You can meet up to six people outdoors as long as you maintain at least 2 metres apart and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene practices.  Pregnant women are considered to be more vulnerable and therefore should be extremely careful in adhering to social distancing and hand hygiene.
To spend the afternoon with friends or family outdoors Yes There are no restrictions on how long you are allowed to meet with others. You can meet up to six people outdoors as long as you maintain social distancing.  However, coronavirus remains a real threat to public health and people should maintain social distancing by being at least 2 metres apart and maintaining hand hygiene. People are encouraged to return home as soon as reasonably practicable

Guidance for people who are shielding

If you have received a letter advising you to shield for 12 weeks, it’s because you could be at higher risk and the advice for you to shield remains in place. 

Guidance for people over 70

The relaxations apply to everyone, including those over 70, unless you have received a shielding letter, in which case you should continue to shield.

if you’re over 70 you are considered to be more vulnerable. So you are advised to be particularly careful about following social distancing guidance and good hygiene. Don’t put yourself at any additional risk.  The same advice applies to pregnant women

Travel

Activity Yes/No Advice
To travel for any reason No You must have a ‘reasonable excuse’ to make a journey. Amendments have been made to the Regulations to insert additional ‘reasons’ to enable greater flexibility for citizens.
To travel to meet friends or family outdoors Yes Yes. Outdoor gatherings of up to six people are permitted as long as you maintain social distancing and avoid any physical contact.
To travel in order to go for a walk or exercise Yes There is no limit on how far you can travel for a walk or exercise. However, people are urged to be responsible and avoid travelling to places where there may be lots of people and where it will be difficult to maintain social distancing.
To travel anywhere within Northern Ireland Yes There is no limit on the distance travelled in NI. However, you must not leave the place where you live unless you have a reasonable excuse (defined in the Regulations).
To use public transport for reasons other than going to work Yes Yes. However, if you must travel you should walk or cycle wherever possible. If using public transport you should consider wearing a face covering, and maintain two metres social distance. If it is not possible to stay two metres apart you should keep the time you spend near others as short as possible, avoid physical contact, wash/sanitise your hands and avoid touching your face.
To travel to other parts of the UK or ROI Yes However, you need to adhere to the restrictions in place in the place that you travel to, at the time.
To stay in my static caravan No Under the current Regulations this is not allowed. However, it is hoped that caravan sites and self-catering properties with be able to open on or before 20 July depending on scientific advice.
Should I book a summer holiday abroad No

It is not advisable as the situation remains very uncertain. Current UK Government advice is that you should not travel abroad unless it is essential. From the 8 June there will be new rules for entering or returning to the UK as you will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Exercise and outdoor activities

Activity Yes/No Advice
To exercise multiple times a day Yes There are no restrictions on the number of times you can leave the place you are living. However, the amount of time spent outside of your household should be limited to minimise your exposure to the virus and the potential to spread the infection.
To visit a public park or forest Yes Some public parks, forests and spaces have now reopened, however associated toilet and indoor facilities remain closed. People are urged to be responsible and avoid travelling to places where there may be lots of people and where it will be difficult to maintain social distancing.

Services

Activity Yes/No Advice
To go to the dentist Yes If you are in pain or have a dental problem you should phone your dentist. Unfortunately Dentists still remain closed for routine appointments but emergency treatment is available.
To visit a hairdresser/barber to get my hair cut No Under the current Regulations this is not allowed.

General

Activity Yes/No Advice

To wear a face covering in enclosed spaces

Yes

You should consider wearing a face covering in certain circumstances such as enclosed spaces or when using public transport. Typically face coverings help to mitigate the risk of the wearer infecting other people.

To go to various shops

Yes

There is no limit to how many shops or how far you can travel to purchase necessities. However, individuals are urged to be responsible, limit the number of journeys and limit the number of people from your household that go shopping together, in order to help facilitate social distancing from other members of the public.

To get married in a place of worship

No

Currently the Regulations only allow for weddings to take place when one of the partners or an immediate family member is terminally ill.

To visit my local recycling centre Yes The regulations have been amended so that visiting a recycling centre is now a ‘reasonable excuse’ to be making a journey.

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