Home Information and Advice Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Information and Advice Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Business Support 

For information on business support and guidance from a variety of government departments and agencies during this unprecedented and difficult time click here

Community Engagement Hub

We are pleased to support community groups and local organisations in their positive response to the Covid-19 pandemic, giving help to those most vulnerable and in need click here

Health and Wellbeing Hub

Taking care of your health and wellbeing is essential during the Covid-19 pandemic. To stay safe, physically active, mentally strong and emotionally resilient, follow the advice on our Health and Wellbeing hub. click here

For the latest updates on all Council services please check the information tabs below.

Following the Northern Ireland Executive’s relaxation of some aspects of leisure services, a number of outdoor leisure facilities have reopened with service restrictions in place (see below).

For a list of council facilities open/closed click here.


Reopening of Play Parks, Outdoor Gyms, MUGAs, Skate Park and Pump Tracks

Play Parks, Outdoor Gyms, MUGAs, Skate Park and Pump Tracks will reopen from Friday 10th July 2020. Users are asked to read the following guidance in advance of their visit:

Guidance for families using play parks – Covid-19
Guidance for Outdoor Gyms – Covid-19
Guidance for MUGAs – Covid-19
Guidance for Skateboarders – Covid-19
Guidance for Pump Track – Covid-19


Reopening of Golf Courses

Golf courses will reopen to Club Members and subscribers from Saturday 23rd May 2020, with public pay and play access from Wednesday 27th May 2020. Everyone must book online in advance.

In line with Public Health Agency (PHA) guidelines reduced services and strict player guidance will apply as follows:

  • Bookings can only be made on-line, with tee times booked in advance
  • Daily timeslots are restricted to 12 minutes for two-ball use
  • Do not arrive at course more than 15 minutes in advance of your time.
  • Social distancing rules must be observed by everyone at all times in the car park, reception and on the course
  • Staff will be on hand to monitor adherence with physical distancing rules
  • Golfers must not touch the flag or flagstick
  • Rakes will be removed from the course
  • Hire trolleys (electric and pull trolleys) must be sanitised prior to each use
  • Club competitions or opens are not permitted.

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) log on to:
https://getactiveabc.com/activities/golf-after-covid-19/

For further information, please contact your local Golf Club directly by telephone or email.


Reopening of Angling Facilities.

Angling facilities will reopen at Loughgall from Saturday 23rd May 2020.

The following user guidance applies:

In line with Public Health Agency (PHA) guidelines reduced service will apply as follows:

  • Angling must be undertaken in accordance with Government social distancing guidelines, which are subject to change, users must be compliant at all times
  • Anglers must follow current Government guidance on travel for the benefit of recreational activity
  • No sharing of fishing positions (swims) except by members of the same household.
  • No sharing of fishing tackle or any other items
  • No angler to fish within 2 metres of any other angler
  • No keepnets or competition fishing will be permitted
  • Onsite toilet facilities will remain closed.

For further information, please contact Loughgall Reception 028 3889 2900.


Reopening of Tennis Facilities

Tennis facilities will reopen to Clubs Only from Wednesday 27th May 2020. 

In line with Public Health Agency (PHA) guidelines reduced services and strict player guidance will apply as follows:

  • No pay & play facilities are operational
  • Max 2 people per court (unless players are from the same household)
  • Players must only handle their own racket and personal (marked) balls
  • Avoid changing ends or change at opposite side of the net
  • A buffer period between bookings will apply (approx. 10 mins)
  • Social distancing must be maintained at all times in car parks, court area etc.
  • At this time no competitions are permitted
  • Club buildings and toilets to remain closed.

For further information, please contact your local Tennis Club directly by telephone or email, from the 27th May.


Reopening of Outdoor Bowling Facilities

Outdoor bowling facilities will reopen to Clubs Only from Wednesday 27th May 2020.

In line with Public Health Agency (PHA) guidelines reduced services and strict player guidance will apply as follows:

  • No pay & play will be in operation
  • Players must provide and use their own individual equipment
  • Limited green opening and social distancing of 2 metres must be adhered to at all times
  • Users should only partake alone, with members of their household, or with one other person from outside your household, while practicing social distancing
  • Only Club members are allowed on a Green
  • Access to club buildings and toilets is not permitted
  • Staff availability may affect the opening of some sites.

For further information, please contact your local Bowling Club directly by telephone or email, from the 27th May.


Reopening of Car Parks

Car Parks will reopen at council Parks and Open Spaces from Wednesday 27th May 2020.


Please note:
In line with Public Health Agency (PHA) guidelines reduced services will apply as follows:

  • Access to public toilets is not permitted
  • Access to caravan areas is not permitted
  • Access to park benches is not permitted
  • Access to mobile catering is not available

Due to the reduced service levels currently operational charging for entry into Gosford Park and Loughgall is suspended until further notice.


For answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) log on to:
https://getactiveabc.com/covid-19/

For further information, please contact or Tel: 0300 0300 900

Household Recycling Centres

Rathfriland, Markethill and Tandragee Household Recycling Centres will reopen for two days per week as follows:

  • Rathfriland Household Recycling Centre will reopen on Monday 29 June and Tuesday 30 June (Monday and Tuesday thereafter) from 10.00am – 6.00pm.
  • Tandragee and Markethill Recycling Centres will reopen on Tuesday 30 June and Wednesday 1 July (Tuesday and Wednesday thereafter) from 10.00am – 6.00pm.

From Wednesday 10th June 2020 ALL FORMER WASTE STREAMS will be accepted at the following Household Recycling Centres:

  • Armagh: Monday – Friday 10.00am- 6.00pm, Saturday 8.00am – 12.00noon
  • Banbridge: Monday – Friday 10.00am – 6.00pm, Saturday 8.00am – 12.00noon
  • Dromore: Thursday – Friday 10.00am – 6.00pm, Saturday 8.00am – 12.00noon
  • Fairgreen: Monday – Friday 10.00am – 6.00pm, Saturday 8.00am – 12.00noon
  • Keady: Thursday – Friday 10.00am – 6.00pm, Saturday 8.00am- 12.00noon
  • New Line: Monday – Friday 10.00am – 6.00pm, Saturday 8.00am – 12.00noon

For information on acceptable waste streams click here.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Last entry will be 15 minutes before each site closes
  • Opening hours are under continual review
  • The number of vehicles on site at any one time will be restricted to facilitate social distancing
  • It is anticipated that there will be high volumes of vehicles at centres, and therefore there may be queues
  • If users are bringing bulkier items to centres, 2 people may leave the vehicle, staff on site will be unable to assist with lifting
  • Users are advised to ensure social distancing on site in line with Government and Public Health Agency (PHA) advice
  • Users are asked to observe site rules at all times
  • Users are asked to sort waste before coming to centres, this will help to reduce waiting times
  • Users are asked to continue to use household kerbside collections for recyclables, organics and general waste.

Who can access the centres?

  • Only householders of the borough will be permitted access – photographic ID may be required
  • Registered commercial users can use the recycling centres from Tuesday 2nd June.

Important Public Health Guidance
Any suspected Covid19 tissues/waste should be double bagged and separated from other wastes for 72 hours before bringing this waste to the recycling centres, in line with Public Health Authority (PHA) guidelines.

Users are asked to respect the temporary measures in place and the guidance from staff on-site, at this time. We thank-you for your cooperation.

Bulky Waste

The Bulky Waste Collection Service will be running as normal from Monday 18th May, to book a collection please call 0300 0300 900.

Bin Collections

All bin collections are continuing to operate, however you may experience disruption.  To help ensure your bin is emptied, please leave your bin out the night before and follow the waste collection hygiene guidelines.

Waste Collection Hygiene

Please respect the safety of refuse collection staff and your own personal safety by taking the following steps:

  • Wash your hands before and after handling your bins/boxes.
  • Put cloths, wipes and gloves used for cleaning in the general waste bin.
  • Do not put tissues in your recycling bins or boxes, there are people sorting your waste, please respect their health and safety.
  • Always disinfect the handles of your bins/boxes before and after collection.

If you are self-isolating:

  • Place personal waste, used tissues, and disposable cleaning cloths or gloves in disposable rubbish bags.
  • Put that bag into a second bag, tie them securely and kept separate from other waste for 72 hours before putting into your usual external general household waste bin.
  • Also make sure to keep this waste away from children and pets.

Always remember to keep at least two metres (six feet) away from your waste collectors.

Bryson Recycling (Armagh area)

Temporary Collection Measures
From Monday 6 April temporary collection measures will commence until further notice. Householders are asked to separate their waste into boxes, regardless of the box colour.

  • Option 1: Paper and cardboard only
  • Option 2: Plastic, food & drinks cans, foil, cartons and aerosols
  • Option 3: Glass bottle and jars.

If residents do not have a third box they are asked to hold this waste until their next weekly collection.  Guidance on hygiene and contaminated waste will also be included on the leaflet delivered to householders.

Food waste collections will continue as normal.

Unfortunately, batteries, textiles, hand tools or overflow bags will not be collected until further notice.

For Temporary Collection Measures, please click here
For FAQ’S from Bryson Recycling, please click here

We would advise that in relation to Councils Planning and Building Control Services, both these services are now operating at a reduced service level as a precautionary measure in response to COVID-19. Our offices are presently closed to customers until further notice.

Further detail on what this means for each service is noted below:-

Planning Service

  • Planning offices remain closed to public.
  • New applications are however being validated and decisions on planning applications are being issued;
  • Decisions on existing enforcement cases are also made and new Enforcement cases are continuing to be opened.
  • Monthly meetings of the Planning & Regulatory Services Committee are taking place.

Until further notice all post should be directed to the Civic Building at Downshire Road, Banbridge BT32 3JY

Any planning queries should be directed to or 0300 200 7830

Building Control
Following the latest review of restrictions by Council the Building Control Department will operate as follows.

Building Regulation Applications
Applications submitted to our Department have and will continue to be validated and processed. We are also available to provide technical advice via phone calls and emails on Building Regulation matters. As Council buildings are not presently open to the public we would request that new applications/amended drawings are posted to either of the addresses below and clearly marked for the attention of Building Control.

Civic Building, Downshire Road, Banbridge, BT32 3JY or
Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre, Lakeview Road, Craigavon, BT64 1AL.

Please note that application forms can be downloaded from our website, link below, and online applications for Building Notices and Regularisation can be made via the same link.

www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/resident/building-control-applications-residents/

Should an applicant or agent have a query regarding the status of a current application they should email the relevant offices at the following:-

Site Inspection
We have resumed a limited number of site inspections, which are primarily external, and where deemed safe to do so in accordance with current Government guidance.  These include:

  • Foundations
  • Hardcore/substructure
  • Dpm/radon barriers
  • Drainage
  • Roof, where this can be inspected externally from ground level
  • Boiler installations, where these are located externally
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Completions on new dwellings, that have not been occupied

To enable us to carry out these inspections we require a minimum 24 hours’ notice.  Same day inspection requests will not be carried out.  All responses to requests for site inspections will be based on the applicant’s ability to ensure that the site will be safe to enter in accordance with current Government guidance.

Where it is considered unsafe for site inspections to be carried out at this time, please contact our offices to discuss possible alternative arrangements such as remote inspections via real time video calls.

Anyone considering carrying out any building works is reminded that it is a statutory duty to notify Council Building Control Department prior to undertaking such works.

If in any doubt, please contact our office on the “contact us” details below

Dangerous Structures
The Department will respond as normal to reports of Dangerous Structures, where the safety of public is a concern.

Property Certificates
The Department have been and will continue to be processing and responding to Council Property Certificate matters. Applications for Property Certificates should be posted to Civic Building, Downshire Road, Banbridge, BT32 3JY

Contact us
If you urgently need to speak to an officer in relation to any of the above, please note the following contact details:

  • For Building Control queries and Dangerous Structures in relation to Craigavon Office area, please contact Richard Dale on 07786 198954
  • For Building Control queries and Dangerous Structures in relation to Armagh Office area, please contact Alison Devlin on 07715 233461 or Kevin Fitzsimons on 07796 171087
  • For Building Control queries and Dangerous Structures in relation to Banbridge Office area, please contact David O’Prey on 07788 435792 or Kevin Fitzsimons on 07796 171087
  • For Property Certificate queries please contact Kevin Fitzsimons on 07796 171087
  • For any other matters, please contact Tom Lavery on 07702 696285

We apologize for the disruption to our service at this time, we will closely monitor the situation as it develops and will share further updates as soon as they are available.

We appreciate your patience and understanding at this time.

Due to the current Covid–19 crisis, the way in which the Environmental Health department provides services may be different to the normal methods we use. There may be delay in providing our usual response, but we aim to deal with your inquiry as quickly as possible, especially if there is an imminent risk to safety, health or the environment.

The best way to contact us is by sending an email to and one of our staff will contact you back as soon as possible.  Please provide contact details including your name, address and contact number with the details or a photograph of the issue you are complaining or enquiring about.

If you are contacting us about an ongoing matter and you know the name of the Officer you were dealing with, please email them directly in the format

If you are unable to email then you can ring 0300 0300 900

As a council, we welcome the announcement by the NI Assembly to change the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations Northern Ireland Act (2020), regarding public access to cemeteries.  We are acutely aware of the deep sensitivities surrounding the closures; therefore, all cemeteries will reopen on Saturday 25 April, with the necessary guidance in place to ensure visitor and staff safety.

During this unprecedented time, visitors are asked to:

  • Follow the Public Health Authority (PHA) guidance on social distancing.
  • Accommodate funeral services by leaving cemeteries if asked to do so by staff.
  • Be aware that if cemetery gates are locked, during normal opening times, this is due to funeral preparations.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Revised Operational Arrangements

Marriages and Civil Partnerships 

The NI Executive has agreed the following will apply from 8 June 2020 – social distancing restrictions apply to all the categories:

Religious Marriage

Can take place indoors in a place of worship if one of the parties is terminally ill with ten people in attendance (this includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant).

Can take place outdoors with ten people in attendance (this includes the couple, two witnesses and the officiant).

Civil Marriage

Can take place outdoors if one of the parties is terminally ill with ten people in attendance (this includes the couple, two witnesses and the Registrar/ Humanist Celebrant). Couples will need to contact one of our registration offices in order to discuss the suitability of the location for the marriage.

Can take place outdoors with ten people in attendance (this includes the couple, two witnesses and the Registrar/ Humanist Celebrant) as long the location has been licensed by the council as an approved place. Couples will need to contact one of our registration offices in the district in order to discuss the suitability of the location for the marriage and the action that may be required.

Civil Partnerships

Can take place outdoors with ten people (this includes the couple, two witnesses and the Registrar/ Humanist Celebrant) in attendance as long the location has been licensed by the council as an approved place. Couples will need to contact one of our registration offices in the district in order to discuss the suitability of the location for the civil partnership and the action that may be required.

Arrangements for Marriages and Civil Partnerships 

Applications for new religious and humanist marriages will be accepted by post only. Weddings and civil partnerships previously cancelled due to Covid-19 can now be rescheduled in line with the current restrictions issued by the NI Executive. Please note no new bookings for marriages or civil partnerships are being taken at this time.

For further details or if you have any questions, please contact:

  • Armagh office: 02837 529615
  • Banbridge office: 02840 660600
  • Craigavon office: 02838 312440 or 02838 312441

Birth Registration

Birth Registration forms can now be downloaded at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/publications/birth-registration-form

This form – GRO4 – should be completed and returned by post or email to the Registration Office in the district in which you reside.  You will then be contacted to arrange a suitable date and time to complete the registration. Only one parent should attend the appointment to register a birth, unless a joint registration is required (parents unmarried) then both parents must attend to sign. Please do not take children to the registration office.

Note: During this exceptional period, parents will not be penalised if the birth has not been registered within the required 42 days. If you do not wish to attend the office to register your baby’s birth until more easing of restrictions are implemented, please see the information below regarding accessing medical services and claiming child benefit.

Accessing Medical Services

Parents can continue to register their child at a GP practice – contact the GP with the following information

  • Child’s Health & Care Number.
  • Full name child is to be registered as.
  • Home Address child will be residing at.

Claiming Child Benefit

GRO have agreed a process with the Department for Communities to enable parents to claim child benefit without providing a birth certificate.

When a baby is born, midwives have a legal duty to notify the birth to the registrar. This is done electronically through a ‘notification of birth’ form (CHS1). Each mother is also given a copy of this form.  This is a legal document and during the current situation, this fully completed form will be accepted as supporting evidence of the birth in lieu of the birth certificate. 

Mother’s should submit the CHS1 form along with the child benefit application form.  You must retain a copy of the form, as it will be required when birth registrations recommence.

If you do not have a copy of the form, you should contact your midwife and they will be able to provide one.

Death Registration

Legislation has been implemented to allow death registrations to be carried out without family attending the registration office.

Death and Stillborn Registration

The Medical Practitioner who has issued the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death or the Certificate of Stillbirth will forward to the General Register Office. GRO will then forward details to the Registrar in the District where your loved one lived. The Registrar will make contact with you, the next of kin or the Funeral Director looking after the burial or cremation. The Registrar will check details of your loved one so that accurate personal details are recorded. If you need guidance, please ring one of the registration offices:

  • Armagh office: 02837 529615
  • Banbridge office: 02840 660600
  • Craigavon office: 02838 312440 or 02838 312441

Please leave a message if your call is not directly answered and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

We would like to offer our deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your loved one. During this very exceptional and challenging time, Staff are trying to manage Death and Stillbirth Registration. We appreciate your patience and assure you that we will look after the registration of your loved one, but it may take a little longer to look after families at this time.  We thank-you in advance for your patience.

Guidance for Funeral Directors

A Medical Certificate of Cause of Death or a Certificate of Still-birth must be sent electronically from the Medical Practitioner to the General Register Office  .  GRO will forward this to the Registration Office in the area where the deceased lived.  The Registrar will make contact with you and the family to register the death of their loved one.

*Please note that all registration services will be kept under review and service alterations may be made at any time to comply with guidance issued by the NI Executive. 

In line with the Northern Ireland Executive and Public Health Agency (PHA) guidelines, the following council led events over the summer period have been cancelled/postponed:

  • 13th June 2020 – UK Pipe Band Championship (cancelled)
  • 20th June 2020 – Buskfest (cancelled)
  • 27th June 2020 – Armed Forces Day (postponed)
  • June-August – Sunday Band Concerts (cancelled)
  • 6th-9th August – 7 Hills Blues Festival (cancelled)
  • Sept 2020 – European Heritage Open Days (cancelled)

Events due to take place between September-December 2020 will be given further consideration in line with government guidelines.

All Off Street Parking charges have been suspended until further notice.

You can access the current PHA advice on COVID-19 translated into the top 10 languages in Northern Ireland at this link:
https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/covid-19-coronavirus-translations

Information for people with a learning disability available here:
https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/publications/coronavirus-advice-people-learning-disability

Information for people living with sight loss is available to download here: Advice for blind and partially sighted people during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection is available in British and Irish Sign Language

British Sign Language pha.site/StayHomeGuidanceBSL
Irish Sign Language pha.site/StayHomeGuidanceISL

Advice on shopping during COVID-19 animations voiced over in Bulgarian and Romanian.

Bulgarian: https://vimeo.com/415128140
Romanian: https://vimeo.com/414685126

Lord Mayor’s Address 04.05.2020

To view previous messages from Lord Mayor Mealla Campbell during the response to COVID-19. Click here