Following the NI Executives announcement on the 14th October, Northern Ireland wide restrictions come into regulatory effect on Friday 16th October, and will be in place for a period of four weeks, to control the spread of Covid-19 in the community.
- Facilities and Services Update
- Why are new restrictions in place?
- What are the restrictions on people meeting?
- How are sporting activities impacted?
- What does this mean for those most at risk?
- How will this impact on my work?
- What are the new travel restrictions?
- How will childcare be impacted?
- Are schools still open?
- Visits to hospitals and care homes
- Marriages and civil partnerships
- Places of worship
- Business and Retail Update
Facilities and Services Update
Indoor Leisure Services Update
Following the NI Executives announcement on the 14 October, the Northern Ireland wide restrictions coming into effect from this evening Friday 16th October, will impact Indoor Leisure Services for a 4 week period.
Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Leisure Centres will remain open to the public with the following activities only on offer until further notice:
- Individual lane swimming.
- Individual gym sessions.
These activities must be pre-booked on-line at www.getactiveabc.com
Outdoor Leisure Services Update
Following the NI Executives announcement on the 14 October, the Northern Ireland wide restrictions coming into effect from this evening Friday 16th October, will impact as follows on Outdoor Leisure Services for a 4 week period:
√ Golf is permitted, with Public Health Agency guidelines in place.
√ All parks and open spaces remain open. Users are advised to follow Public Health Agency guidelines at all times.
√ Play parks will remain open. Users are advised to follow Public Health Agency guidelines at all times.
X All caravan parks (camping and caravanning) with associated amenities are closed.
X All outdoor team based activities are postponed, including training and fixtures for team sports.
Arts and Cultural Facilities Update
The following Arts and Cultural Facilities are closed for a period of 4 weeks commencing 16.10.20:
- FE McWilliam
- Market Place Theatre
- Armagh County Museum
- Moneypenny’s Lockhouse and Forge
- Navan Centre and Fort
All restrictions will be kept under review in line with Northern Ireland Executive regulations, and Public Health Agency guidelines.
We thank-you for your on-going support and understanding at this time.
Why are new restrictions in place?
Why have additional restrictions been introduced?
The rapid increase in transmission across Northern Ireland is very concerning. These Northern Ireland wide restrictions have been introduced as an emergency measure to stop the spread of Covid-19. Everyone is being asked to abide by these new regulations to protect each other from the virus, reduce the level of hospitalisations and ultimately save lives.
How long will the restrictions be in place?
These additional restrictions will be in place for an initial period of 2 weeks. They will be reviewed on a weekly basis, and will not be kept in place for any longer than is necessary.
What are the restrictions on people meeting?
Can I meet people indoors?
There should be no mixing of households indoors. Certain exemptions apply to private dwellings.
I’ve formed a bubble with another household. Can we continue to meet?
You can still bubble with one other household. These two households can be any size. However, gatherings in a private dwelling should be no more than six people at any one time. Bubbling is limited to a maximum of 10 people from two households, with no overnight stays are permitted in a private home unless in a bubble.
My parents don’t live together – can I still see them both?
Children whose parents don’t live in the same household can move between homes as normal.
Can I still meet people in a private garden?
Up to six people from no more than two households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, but you should maintain social distancing. If the gathering is with members of your bubble only, then a maximum of 15 people from the two households can meet up outdoors in a private garden. Children aged 12 and under from two bubbled households are not counted in the totals.
How many people can meet in other outdoor areas?
Gatherings of up to 15 people are permitted where there is social distancing. There will be no exceptions for gatherings above 15 with a risk assessment.
How are sporting activities impacted?
Can sporting events continue and can they have spectators?
No indoor sport of any kind or organised contact sport involving household mixing other than at elite level.
No mass events involving more than 15 people (except for allowed outdoor sporting events where the relevant number for that will continue to apply).
Gyms may remain open but for individual training only with local enforcement in place.
What does this mean for those most at risk?
What’s the advice for medically vulnerable and older people?
Medically vulnerable and older people are asked to be particularly careful in following the advice on limiting household contacts, social distancing, hand washing and wearing a face covering. It is recommended that individuals should limit interaction to a very small network of contacts for short periods of time, while remaining physically distanced. When outdoors, it is important to maintain social distance from others and wash hands on returning home.
How will this impact on my work?
Can I still go to work as normal?
You should work from home if it’s possible for you to do so.
Universities and further education to deliver distance learning to the maximum extent possible with only essential face to face learning where that is a necessary and unavoidable part of the course.
Can I work in other people’s houses?
Workers, builders, trades people and other professionals can continue to go into people’s houses to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries.
People who run a business from their own home can continue to carry out their work with appropriate safety measures in place. Any visits should be risk-assessed and in line with relevant guidance.
What are the new travel restrictions?
Is it ok to travel?
No unnecessary travel should be undertaken.
People living in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area should avoid all unnecessary travel. Similarly, people should only travel to the Borough area where it is absolutely necessary.
Where travel is necessary for work, education and other essential purposes, people are asked to walk, cycle or use private transport, shared only with members of their household where possible. When public transport is used, face coverings should be used and social distancing should be maintained were possible.
Everyone is asked to be mindful of the risks of spreading the virus by travel and should use their judgement when deciding whether or not to undertake a journey based on the individual circumstances.
There is guidance to help you understand how to travel safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This includes when using public transport, walking, cycling and travelling by car:
How will childcare be impacted?
Can childcare continue?
Childcare can continue to be provided by a person registered in accordance with the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 or any childcare provided free of charge. This includes informal childcare arrangements.
Early learning / childcare settings are not affected by the current regulations and will remain open.
Are schools still open?
The half term holiday break for schools and colleges will be extended to a two-week break to run from 19th to 30th October.
Visits to hospitals and care homes
Visiting to care homes and hospitals may be curtailed.
More frequent visits may be permitted in exceptional circumstances, including palliative care facilities and those receiving end of life care.
Please check with your care provider before visiting.
Funerals can continue to take place, in line with guidance on managing funerals and associated gatherings, limiting services to 25 people.
The size of the venue will determine the maximum number that can attend the service safely whilst observing social distancing of at least two metres, wherever possible.
It is recommended that face coverings are used for indoor services.
Any mourner displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend a funeral, as they pose a risk to others.
The Public Health Agency has produced a number of useful documents to help bereaved families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marriages and civil partnerships
Marriages and civil partnerships can continue to take place, in line with the current restrictions, however they are limited to 25 people from Monday 19th Venues providing the post-ceremony or partnership celebration this weekend may remain open for this purpose but may not provide other services for people who are not part of the wedding or partnership party and this will be limited to 25.
A marriage or civil partnership where one partner is terminally ill can take place in a private dwelling.
Numbers attending indoor ceremonies and post-ceremony celebrations will be determined by the venue on a risk assessed basis, taking account of the individual circumstances of each and adhering to all relevant public health advice and industry guidance.
Guidance has been developed to help plan the celebrations and is available on the NI Executive website.
Places of worship
Places of worship remain open, however the wearing of face coverings is now mandatory when entering and exiting.
Action will be taken against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices.
The current penalties are:
- a fixed penalty notice of £60.00 (reduced to £30.00 if paid within 14 days)
- for subsequent offences the fixed penalty will double each time up to a maximum of £960
- if court proceedings are taken, the fine available on summary conviction is up to £5,000 (level five on the standard scale)
Business and Retail Update
Are businesses open in our Borough?
Yes, our Borough is open for business.
Business owners across the Borough, including those in the BT60 area, continue to provide a safe environment for locals and visitors to shop and eat out in, by continuing to follow all Government and Public Health Agency (PHA) Health and Safety measures.
The following additional exception now applies:
- Closure of the hospitality sector apart from deliveries and takeaways for food, with the existing closing time of 11.00pm remaining.
- Other takeaway premises will be brought in line with hospitality with a closing time of 11.00pm.
Close Contact Services
- Close contact services such as hairdressers and beauticians are not permitted to open, apart from those relating to the continuation of essential health interventions and therapeutics.
- Off licenses and supermarkets will not sell alcohol after 8.00pm.
All customers are advised to continue to follow the Public Health Agency Guidelines by:
- Washing your hands frequently
- Practicing good respiratory hygiene
- Keeping your distance
- Wearing a face covering, where appropriate.
Please support our local villages and towns #shoplocal #dinelocal to #staysafe
Speak to a member of our Business Advisory team on 028 3831 2571 or visit our Business Support Hub.