Covid19 restrictions to ease next week

SHOPS, hairdressers, restaurants, places of worship and hotels will re-open from December 11 as Covid19 restrictions are set to ease.

Pubs selling drink only (wet pubs) will remain closed and an additional financial package will be put in place.

Pubs and private members’ clubs serving a main or substantive meal that has been prepared in their own kitchen; restaurants and cafes can open, and mitigations, that were previously required, will stay in place.


Food and drink can be purchased until 10.30pm but cannot be consumed on the premises after 11.00pm, and all persons must vacate the venue by 11.00pm.

Hotels and guesthouses can reopen and mitigations that were previously required will stay in place, including restrictions on food and drink. 

Gyms, swimming and diving pools can open for individual training, training with a personal trainer and non-aerobic classes of up to 15. Contact details must be taken.

Outdoor events and gatherings, subject to a risk assessment if more than 15 attending and measures in place to limit risk of virus transmission with an upper limit of 500 on participants.

Current arrangements for gatherings in domestic and private dwellings will remain the same as is currently in place, apart from the temporary arrangements over the Christmas period.

The Executive has also agreed Christmas household bubbling arrangements from December 23-27.

Three households will be able to come together for this period in domestic settings, outdoor public spaces and places of worship.


One of the households will be able to include their existing household bubble.

Sports events, subject to a risk assessment if more than 15 people attending with measures in place to limit risk of virus transmission. An upper limit of 500 spectators is permitted. Inter-school competitive sporting events are not permitted.

Outdoor exercise in groups of up to a maximum of 15 can resume while places of worship and  outdoor and indoor visitor attractions, museums, galleries and libraries can reopen.

Receptions for marriages and civil partnerships are permitted, with numbers subject to risk assessment determined by the place of worship, or venue. Mitigations that were previously required will stay in place.

Wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships will continue and the number attending will be determined by the place of worship, or venue.

Attendees and the organiser/operator of funerals must comply with funeral guidance issued by the Department of Health.

No holidaying in groups outside of the domestic settings rules – this applies to venues, such as self-catering chalets, which can accommodate large numbers.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere

and get access to our archive editions dating back to 2007

Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW