Key National Information Sources
Everyone in Northern Ireland must follow the current guidance:
- You should continue to work from home where you can.
- Up to 15 people (including children) from no more than three households can meet outdoors in a private garden.
- Up to six people from a maximum of two households can meet in a private home and stay overnight. Children aged 12 and under are not counted in the total. If a household has six or more members, they can visit another household, as long as there are no more than 10 people indoors. Children aged 12 and under are not counted in the total.
- All retail can open.
- Outdoor areas at hospitality venues are open.
- Gyms, swimming pools and indoor leisure facilities may open for individual exercise and also one-to-one training/ coaching with social distancing.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The clinically extremely vulnerable will get priority access to vaccination against Covid-19 before the general population and in line with the priority order. You will be contacted again by the NHS with more information on when and how you will be invited to get the vaccine.
Even if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to follow shielding advice. The people you live with should also continue to follow the public health rules even if they have received the vaccine.
Young people and children
Young people aged 16 years and over with specific clinical vulnerabilities will be offered vaccination.
The only other group that can be considered are children aged 12 years and over with severe neurodisabilities and recurrent respiratory tract infections who require residential care. These vaccinations would be considered unlicensed use, paediatricians and GPs should discuss the benefits, risks and safety data with children, young people and their parents/guardians.
You can find more information about the Covid-19 vaccination programme for children and young people here.
Working Safely During Coronavirus
From 12 April, 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 Support Bubbles
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.
A support bubble is a support network that links two households. You can form a support bubble with a household of any size, but indoor meetings between households in the bubble are limited to a maximum of 10 people. including children.
You should not form a support bubble with a household that is part of another support bubble. If a household wishes to change the household that they bubble with, the household must wait 10 days from the last visit of the original linked household.
Information for Charities
The NICVA has a hub of information to support the charity sector through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Find out about other countries information
General News and updates for Northern Ireland
My lockdown journey
Heather Delaney tells us what the first and second lockdown have been like for her, the challenges she has experienced...
Are the Covid-19 vaccines safe?
The three vaccines are effective and safe with adverse reactions that, when present, are usually mild and resolved...