Key National Information Sources
Everyone in Northern Ireland must follow the current guidance:
- You should continue to work from home where you can.
- There are no restrictions on the number of people you can meet with outdoors in a private garden.
- Up to 30 people can meet in a private home and stay overnight.
- All retail can open.
- Hospitality venues are open. Food and drink must only be consumed while seated at tables indoors.
- Indoor and outdoor sports are permitted.
- Schools and colleges are open for all children.
If you are displaying symptoms of coronavirus and need to apply for a test, you can book a test here.
A free remote interpreting service for British Sign Language (BSL) and Irish Sign Language (ISL) users in Northern Ireland has been introduced to provide the deaf community with access to NHS111 and all health and social care services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covid-19 NI is a symptom checker and is dedicated to providing people across Northern Ireland with immediate advice and links to vital trusted information. The Covid-19 NI app can be downloaded on both Apple and Android devices.
An online version of the app is available here for those without access to a smartphone but who are able to access a computer or tablet device.
- If you on a low income and experiencing financial difficulties due to self-isolation, you might be eligible for the Discretionary Support self-isolation grant.
- You may be able to get financial support from the Universal Credit Contingency Fund grant or the Discretionary Support.
- You can contact Make the Call for comprehensive advice on benefits, reliefs and supports available in Northern Ireland.
Physical and mental wellbeing:
- If you are having it difficult to cope, you can find information on how to look after your mental health on the Minding Your Head website and the Covid-19 Virtual Wellbeing Hub.
- You can access programmes to improve your emotional wellbeing and support you to exercise and eat well with Warm, Well and Connected.
- There is a centralised helpline for assistance with deliveries of food and medicine operated by the Department of Communities. You can call freephone on 0808 802 0020, between 09:00 BST and 17:00, seven days a week or you can also email email@example.com or text ACTION to 81025.
- Guidance on how vulnerable people can reduce the risk of getting coronavirus and access help and support can be found here.
Shielding and Vulnerable People
Updated guidance for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable can be found here.
- Try to go to shops and hospitality venues at quieter times.
- Avoid public transport as much has possible or consider travelling outside peak hours.
- You are advised to work from home where possible, but you are free to make your own judgement depending on your working environment.
- Clinically extremely vulnerable and vulnerable children can continue to attend school.
Covid-19 booster vaccine
Booster vaccine doses are now available on the NHS for people most at risk from Covid-19 and people over 40 who have had a second dose of a vaccine at least six months ago.
People aged 18-39 will now be eligible for a booster when it’s their turn.
People eligible includes:
- People aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from Covid-19
- People aged 16 and over who are a main carer for someone at high risk from Covid-19
- people aged 16 and over who live with someone who is more likely to get infections
- People aged 40 and over
- People who live or work in care homes
- Frontline health and social care workers
- People who are pregnant and in one of the eligible groups can also get a booster dose.
Third Covid-19 vaccination dose
The JCVI has advised that people aged 12 and over who were severely immunosuppressed at the time of their first or second dose should be offered a third dose. They will also be offered a booster dose in due course.
Read more about the difference between the booster vaccine and third vaccine here.
Young adults and children
Young adults aged 16 years and over are eligible for vaccination.
16 and 17 year olds can get two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. This can be booked online. The second vaccine dose should be given at least 12 weeks after the first one.
12-15 year olds will be offered the vaccine as part of a school-based programme. A second dose has now been advised.
12-15 year olds who are clinincally extremely vulnerable will receive a letter from their GP.
You can find more information about the Covid-19 vaccination programme for children and young people here.
Adults over 18
If you’re aged 18 years or older (born on or before 31 July 2003) you can get vaccinated at one of Northern Ireland’s regional vaccination centres.
To be eligible to be vaccinated as part of the Northern Ireland vaccination programme you generally have to be registered with a GP in Northern Ireland.
If you’re not registered with a GP in NI but live here or are temporarily a resident in NI, you should email the Department of Health at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will advise you how you can be vaccinated.
Even if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to follow the advice. The people you live with should also continue to follow the public health rules even if they have received the vaccine.
Working Safely During Coronavirus
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should work from home where this is possible.
If it is not possible, you can attend your workplace, provided your employer has taken the proper measures to ensure social distancing in your place of work, and you can travel to work in a way which allows for social distancing.
All employers have a ‘duty of care’ for staff and, in practice, this means taking all steps they reasonably can to support the health, safety and wellbeing of their staff.
Information and guidance from the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) on a safe working environment for employers and employees during Covid-19 can be found here.
You can contact the Labour Relations Agency, if you have a disagreement with your employer, which you are unable to resolve
The Law Centre NI provides free, independent, specialist legal advice on employment rights and has established a dedicated Covid-19 response team for Covid-19 related employment rights matters. The Law Centre can be contacted on their advice line on 028 9024 4401 or by email.
If you decide to go to work, guidance from NI Direct about safe working during Covid-19 can be found here.
Carers and Parents
This information provides advice and support for informal carers, young carers and family members. It pulls together already existing sources of information into one place and signposts carers to others who may be able to help.
Information for Charities
The NICVA has a hub of information to support the charity sector through the Covid-19 pandemic.