Latest information on COVID-19
Following an announcement by The Executive Office on 20 January 2022, relating to relaxation of some of the current COVID 19 restrictions. The Executive has agreed the following steps:
From 21 January at 12 noon:
- In hospitality settings - the requirement to be seated whilst consuming food and/or drink and for table service in premises that provide alcohol will be removed as will the rule of six.
- In domestic settings - guidance regarding the cap on the number households meeting indoors will be removed. (A maximum number of 30 people permitted to gather will be retained in regulation.)
- On face coverings – the requirement to provide proof of exemption will be removed and the reasonable excuse of ‘severe distress’ will be reintroduced.
- The guidance on working from home will revert to working from home where you can with employers encouraged to facilitate this.
- The Executive has also been advised by the Department of Health that the minimum self-isolation period for people testing positive for COVID-19 will be reduced to five full days, subject to negative lateral flow tests on days five and six of their isolation.
From 26 January at 12 noon:
- Nightclubs will be permitted to open.
- Dancing and indoor standing events can resume.
- In relation to COVID-status certification – the legal requirement will continue to apply in relation to nightclubs and indoor unseated or partially seated events with 500 people or more. For other settings where COVID status certificates are currently required, guidance would strongly encourage their continued use.
- In workplaces - the requirement for offices to take reasonable measures for 2m social distancing will be removed. Guidance remains in place that risk assessments should be carried out.
All remaining COVID measures will be reviewed by the Executive on 10 February.
- Helpful FAQs for business on NI Business Info website: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/faqs-businesses-current-coronavirus-regulations
- NI Direct - Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations and guidance: what they mean for you: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-and-guidance-what-they-mean-you
Proof of COVID Status
In addition to the above legal requirements, the Northern Ireland Executive has introduced a requirement to provide ‘Proof of COVID Status’ to access a range of premises and events. The COVID Status requirement took effect from Monday 29th November 2021.
The Northern Ireland Executive has confirmed that the COVID Status (COVID Certifcate) requirement applies only to hospitality premises where intoxicating liquor is served and/or when bring your own (BYO) alcohol is permitted; and in certain other premises and venues as below. To find out how to apply for your domestic COVID-19 certificate please click here.
Relevant premises and events include:
- Events with over 10,000 (all figures are simultaneous and include staff / performers / attendees)
- Indoor Events with 500+
- Outdoor Events with 4,000+ where not all attendees are seated
- Concert halls
- Indoor premises when used for the purposes of a performance, recording or rehearsal other than private dwellings
- Premises used for the purposes of a conference or exhibition
- Premises hosting a relevant event (other than exempt events as below)
Exempt events include:
- A funeral, marriage ceremony, civil partnership registration or reception or gathering relating to said events (other than where such gatherings are held in premises where intoxicating liquor may be consumed)
Exempt premises include:
- Ports and Airports
- Cross-border intercity rail service between Dublin and Belfast
- Places of Worship during a service
- Educational establishments other than where intoxicating liquor may be consumed
Exempt persons include:
- A resident in tourist accommodation, except when in an area open to the public, where intoxicating liquor may be consumed
- Under 18s,
- People employed at the premises/event,
- People providing services when the premises is empty
- People carrying out a public service function or essential repairs / maintenance
The Executive Office has stated that there may be a phased approach to implementation of the COVID status scheme therefore it could be extended to apply to unlicensed hospitality in the future.
Acceptable Proof of COVID status
Proof of Vaccination
Certification in paper form (travel / domestic vaccine certificate or blue vaccine card issued at time of vaccination) that the person has completed a course of doses of an authorised vaccine with the final dose having been received at least 14 days before the relevant time accompanied with photographic ID.
Certification in electronic form (travel / domestic vaccine certificate apps) that the person has completed a course of doses of an authorised vaccine with the final dose having been received at least 14 days before the relevant time- with photographic ID.
Negative Lateral Flow Test
Certification by text or email through the NHS COVID-19 reporting app of a negative result of a lateral flow device test taken within 48 hours before the relevant time accompanied with photographic ID, or
On-site negative lateral flow device test, taken within 48 hours before the relevant time
Previous Positive Result
A valid notification of a positive result of a polymerase chain reaction test taken no earlier than 30 days, and no later than 180 days, before the relevant time- accompanied with photographic ID
All evidence above must include, or be accompanied by a document confirming the individuals name as stated in the evidence provided and photographic ID, to confirm the individual’s identity.
Further proof or COVID Status or exemptions can apply, such as participation within a Clinical Trial.
While this is a brief overview of the new regulations coming into effect on 29th November 2021, you can find further details on these and the current regulations within the links below:
Further guidance relating to the verifier app for venues can be found at:
Guidance for venues can be found at: https://covid-19.hscni.net/covidcert-check-ni-guidance-for-venues-event-organisers/
Socialising/Dining out in Lisburn & Castlereagh - Everything you need to know
Here’s what to expect when visiting a licensed or non-licensed business (café/bar or restaurant) during the current COVID-19 regulations
Contact Tracing: To help with the Test, Trace and Protect your contact details must be collected by the venue and for every visitor over the age of 16. Please note, if your information is not provided in advance, it must be obtained at the time of the visit. The following details must be recorded:
- Telephone number
- Date of visit
-Time of arrival
Live music: Live music is now permitted at licensed and unlicensed hospitality businesses.
Moving around the premises: You are now permitted to freely move around the premises, however it is recommended that movement is kept to a minimum. Face coverings must be worn unless eating or drinking.
Face coverings: You are required to wear face coverings inside the hospitality premises except when eating or drinking.
Social distancing: There will be a legal requirement for businesses to take reasonable measures to achieve 2m social distancing in their premises.
Government Guidance and FAQs
The NI Executive guidance is designed to limit the chances for coronavirus to spread in Northern Ireland. It works in partnership with the Public Health Agency to deliver messages to keep us safe at this time. To view the latest guidance please click the image below.
Over the last six months the council has been working in partnership with its residents, community and voluntary groups and businesses to offer support to those who need it. The infographic below details some of the highlights that we have achieved together.
To assist local businesses, we have guidance to further help businesses prevent the spread and also support those businesses with confirmed COVID-19 cases involving staff and/or customers.
Our services are operating within the COVID-19 guidance. If you would like to access information please click on the relevant link below
- Bins and Recycling
- Environmental Health
- Economic Development and Business Support
- Registering a Birth, Death or Marriage
- Community Support
If you would like to contact us you can find our services details online at https://www.lisburncastlereagh.gov.uk/coronavirus/contact-details
Guidance on social distancing for blind and partially sighted people
RNIB NI, working in partnership with Guide Dogs NI, has developed guidance on social distancing for blind and partially sighted people in Northern Ireland. This guidance is designed to assist blind and partially sighted people to safely resume their lives within existing government and public health advice.
NI Guidance on Social Distancing if you are Blind or Partially Sighted addresses the needs of blind and partially sighted people specifically and covers a range of issues including guiding and mask wearing.
NI Social Distancing Guidelines – how you can support Blind and Partially Sighted people is aimed at raising awareness among the wider public and service providers and offers tips on how to support blind and partially sighted people to resume their everyday activities as society begins to emerge from lockdown.
The guidelines have been produced in conjunction with the Public Health Agency, Health and Social Care Board and Trust Sensory Support Teams. They are underpinned by current public health advice and Government guidance on COVID-19 and relevant infection prevention measures.