Coronavirus is still here. The current regulations are in place until 5 March 2021. They will be reviewed on 18 February 2021. Some of the restrictions will be in law through regulation, while others will be in guidance. Everyone is legally required to comply with the regulations.
Northern Ireland will go into a six week Lockdown on Boxing Day. NI Executive Ministers met on Thursday amid growing concern about the rise of coronavirus cases in Northern Ireland. The Health minister said the restrictions will come into effect from midnight on Christmas Day, taking effect on the 26th.
Robin Swann said: “The Executive has probably taken its hardest decision, its most deep decision, in regards to how we have had to combat Covid-19 collectively. “We will be looking to a six week lock down where the message will be work from home, stay at home.
The agreed measures include:
Non-essential retail will close, including garden centres, click and collect services, and homeware
All hospitality will close, except deliveries and takeaway (Hotels will be able to remain open until 28th December to accommodate Christmas bookings)
Close contact services eg. hairdressers, beauticians etc will close
All essential businesses that will be allowed to open must close at 8pm for the first week of lockdown
No household mixing, except in an emergency
People will be asked to stay at home from 8pm – 6am for the first week of the lockdown
No changes have made to the Christmas bubbling system, which runs from the 23rd to the 27th of December.
No outdoor mixing with other households
Outdoor exercise will only be permitted alone or with members of your household
Elite sport will be cancelled during the first week of lockdown
Religious services can continue depending on a risk assessment
Number at funerals and weddings limited to 25. Receptions are not allowed
Christmas bubbling arrangements are still permitted, however people are being asked to limit their contact with others.
Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, additional restrictions have been introduced for people living in Northern Ireland. These new restrictions have been put in place to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and to help manage the pressures on our health and social care system. This page will be updated with detailed information as it becomes available.
The regulations were introduced on 16 October 2020 and will be in place for four weeks.
Households are not allowed to mix indoors in private homes. Certain exemptions apply, including:
– bubbling with one other household – childcare – building or maintenance work – the services of trades or professions (close contact services are not allowed) – providing care or assistance, including social services, to a vulnerable person – giving or receiving legal advice or assistance or fulfilling a legal obligation – providing emergency or medical assistance to any person – a house move, and to do associated activities for that purpose, including viewing properties and making arrangements for removals – a marriage or civil partnership where one of the couple is terminally ill
Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes as normal.
The following restrictions for all households in Northern Ireland were introduced from 6.00 pm on 22 September 2020:
no mixing of households in private dwellings, with exemptions for: – bubbling with one other household – caring responsibilities, including childcare – building or maintenance work, or the services of any trade or profession – supported living arrangements – visits required for legal or medical purposes – a business operating from a person’s home – a funeral – a house move, and to undertake associated activities for that purpose, including viewing properties and making arrangements for removals – marriage or civil partnership ceremony in a private dwelling where one partner is terminally ill – no more than six people to gather in a private garden from no more than two households -children aged 12 and under from those two households are not counted in this total
Households are no longer allowed to mix indoors in private homes. This is because meeting friends and family indoors carries a higher risk than meeting outdoors.
You can form a bubble with one other household. These two households can be any size, however gatherings indoors should be no more than six people. Children aged 12 and under from those two households are not counted in this total.
Exemptions apply for those with caring responsibilities and you can continue to provide support for elderly relatives or dependents.
It is important that people who were previously shielding are particularly careful at this time.
Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes as normal.
Today (Monday 7th September), marks the launch of a regional mental health and emotional wellbeing campaign – ‘Working Together To Promote Mental Wellbeing”.
The campaign is being launched by the Public Health Agency (PHA) along with five Health and Social Care Trusts, the NI Ambulance Service and the Health and Social Care Board, who with the community and voluntary sectors will work together to promote ways to support our mental wellbeing, with co-ordinated messages and links to support on social media including to the updated resources website www.mindingyourhead.info
Over the next five weeks the campaign will focus on the ‘Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing’, which offers practical ideas to help support people with protecting and improving their own mental wellbeing and those around them.
The Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing are evidence based, easy to follow steps to help maintain and improve your wellbeing. The steps are-Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give.
Olive MacLeod, Chief Executive, PHA, said: “The PHA has been working closely with the five Health and Social Care Trusts and NI Ambulance Service and the Health and Social Care Board on this campaign. In the current climate it is even more important we work together with a united voice with our local communities to encourage everyone to look after their own mental and emotional wellbeing and that of others. We want to promote each of the Take 5 messages and the range of resources and support available. We should think of these as our ‘five-a-day’ for wellbeing and build these into our daily lives.
“This week also sees World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September. It is vitally important to remind people that if they or someone they know is experiencing a crisis, that the 24/7crisis helpline Lifeline (0808 808 8000) is available at all times.
“We hope that encouraging people to Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing will help prevent people reaching crisis point. We encourage people to recognise the signs in themselves and others and know where they can get help as early as possible.”
Week one of the campaign focuses on ‘Connect’ and is being led by the recently appointed Interim Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland, Professor Siobhan O’Neill.
Commenting ahead of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day, Professor O’Neill said: “Across the world, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. On Thursday people will come together in solidarity and spread awareness of how suicide can be prevented. In Northern Ireland we continue to have rates of suicide that are higher than any other UK region, and this remains very concerning. As Mental Health Champion, I will drive forward the actions within the ‘Protect Life 2’ Suicide Prevention Strategy and ensure suicide prevention is considered in all key policies.
I am passionate that we encourage everyone to look after their mental health and become our mental health champions, and in doing so look after ourselves and support others. ‘Take 5 steps to wellbeing’ is a set of tools we can all use daily, to help care for ourselves. As someone who uses these for my own wellbeing, I know they make a difference,” Professor O’Neill added.
Marie Roulston Director of Social Care and Children, Health and Social Care Board said: “The campaign is an excellent opportunity for the five Health and Social Care Trusts the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the Health and Social Care Board to work together over the next five weeks to build momentum around awareness of local services and the community and voluntary organisations working tirelessly to support people in their communities. They will also work together amplify the Take 5 message and links to support online and in their local areas.
“It is important to remember that mental health services continue to operate across Northern Ireland at this time. If you are concerned about your physical or emotional wellbeing, you should contact your GP.”
The following has been received from TV Licensing:-
We are very aware that TVL is high on the scammers hit list. In May, Action Fraud received over 260 reports of coronavirus related TV Licensing emails. There has been a TVL email scam specifically about coronavirus going around which says that the customer is eligible for a personalised offer of six months free because of COVID.
We want to protect our customers, so have been working on developing more detailed advice and also working with National Cyber Security Centre – people are asked to send scam emails to email@example.com as a way of NCSC building a better picture of what’s out there.
As mentioned, the attached checklist is a good guide to help service users become aware of TVL scams and begin to take action against them via the following steps:
STOP Scammers will attempt to trick you into giving away your personal or bank details. So always be wary of letters, emails, texts or phone calls that promise you money or a refund
CHECK Sender, spelling and grammar, your licence number, your name
ASK If you’re ever unsure about a communication you’ve received, it’s always best to ask someone – perhaps a friend or trusted advisor. Or you can contact us via www.tvl.co.uk/scams or call us.