Northern Ireland: update as at 30 April

01, May 2021

The current coronavirus restrictions in Northern Ireland are law (through regulation) which everyone is legally required to comply with. These regulations will next be reviewed on Thursday 13 May 2021.

Anyone who can work from home must work from home.  Those who cannot work from home, for example, workers in construction, manufacturing, logistics or distribution can continue to go to work.

Employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home. They must also take all reasonable steps to safeguard the health, safety and well-being of employees during the COVID-19 emergency, whether working from home or in the workplace.

All business and venues that are in operation should follow guidelines on working safely.


Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs, including in members’ clubs) can reopen.

A maximum of six people from two households can be seated together. Children aged 12 and under are not counted in the total and more than six will also be permitted if they all belong to a single household.

Apart from entering and leaving the premises, the only movement allowed indoors is to access toilet facilities, to select food from a buffet or to pay – however, social distancing must be maintained.

Venues will also be required to collect customer details to help with the Test, Trace, Protect contact tracing programme.

Customer details will include the:

  • name and telephone number of one member of each household
  • date and time of arrival
  • number of individuals from a person’s household visiting the premises at that time

An indicative date of 24 May has been set for the reopening of indoor hospitality venues and all tourism accommodation. This will be subject to review.


Self-contained tourism accommodation may reopen. This is accommodation with no shared facilities, which can be exclusively used by a single household / bubble.

Also permitted to open are drive-in cinemas and performances. (When going to these events, you must not share your vehicle with anyone outside your household or bubble.)

Indoor visitor and cultural attractions – not yet open
Indoor leisure and entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, inflatable parks, go-karting venues, soft play centres are not permitted to open.  An indicative date of 24 May has been set for the reopening of indoor visitor and cultural attractions. This will be subject to review.

Close contact services can reopen.


All shops can reopen – follow the link to find more guidance on reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19 in reopening retail businesses.

Work carried out in private homes and other services

Unless they are specifically required to close under the regulations, workers, builders, tradespeople and other professionals can continue to go into people’s houses to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries. 

Estate agents are permitted to remain open to facilitate the buying and selling of property, including associated activities such as the viewing of properties.

Guidance for businesses and links to financial support can be found here.

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