North West Migrants Forum


From 23rd- 26th Dec 2020

  • Christmas bubbling is permitted for one day between 23rd-26th December to accommodate anyone working over Christmas who would like to celebrate on a day other than the 25th.
  • The NI Executive strongly advises everyone to stay in their own home at
    Christmas time. However, for those who feel the need to meet, bubbles should be kept to an absolute minimum and can be no more than 3 households.

From 12:01am on 26th Dec 2020 – 2nd Jan 2021

  • From 8pm- 6am no indoor or outdoor gatherings of any kind or size should take place.
  • Essential retail must also close between 8pm- 6am.
  • Outdoor exercise is only permitted with those from your own household.
  • No sporting events to take place.

From 2nd Jan 2021- 6th Feb 2021

  • Non-essential retail to remain closed including click and collect services.
  • No household mixing except in an emergency.
  • No outdoor mixing with other households.
  • Carwashes to close.
  • Close contact services such as hairdressers and beauticians must close.
  • All hospitality including restaurants and coffee shops are allowed to offer a takeaway service but no seating indoor or outdoor is allowed.
  • Off-licenses (including takeaways from bars) will be permitted from 8:00am on Mondays to Saturdays, and from 10:00am on a Sunday, until 8:00pm on any day.
  • Gyms will be closed, as will tennis courts, golf clubs, swimming pools, leisure centres, equestrian centres and motorsport facilities.
  • Hotels will remain open until 28 December to “accommodate” guests over the Christmas season. After that, they will only be allowed to operate in limited circumstances, such as to offer rooms to essential workers and people who are unable to return to their main address due to emergency situations.
  • Weddings and funerals are limited to 25 people for the service with no wedding receptions or pre/post-funeral gatherings or wakes allowed.
  • Places of worship can remain open subject to “strict conditions” such as mandatory face coverings.
  • Leisure and entertainment services must also close including cinemas, bingo halls, funfairs, museums, galleries and theatres.
  • Schools will be reopening after the Christmas holidays as planned.

How will this be enforced?

  • People in Northern Ireland caught breaching coronavirus regulations can face a minimum fine of £200.
  • There will also be an increased police presence across Northern Ireland to ensure people follow the regulations.

What constitutes as essential retail?

  • Food retailers, supermarkets, convenience stores, corner shops, newsagents.
  • Off licenses and breweries.
  • Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies).
  • Building supplies businesses and hardware stores.
  • Petrol stations.
  • Pet shops.
  • Agricultural supplies shops, livestock markets, veterinary surgeons.
  • Motor vehicle repair, MOT services, bicycle shops, taxi or vehicle hire
  • Banks, building societies, credit unions, short-term loan providers and cash points, and Post offices.
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners.
  • Storage and distribution facilities for delivery and drop off.
  • Funeral homes.
  • Dentists.
  • Opticians.
  • Audiology services.
  • Chiropody.
  • Chiropractors.
  • Osteopaths.
  • Services relating to mental health.
  • Professional services including solicitors can continue to operate as normal, as can those in the manufacturing and construction industry.

Face coverings must also be worn:

  • Taxis and private buses.
  • While in any retail shops.
  • In public areas of civil services offices, jobs and benefits offices
  • When boarding a plane.
  • In banks, building societies, credit unions, and post offices.

These are very challenging times so please know that if you are struggling, you are not alone.

  • If you need help with food parcels, accommodation, or for any emergency support during the holiday season contact NWMF in the North West region on 07912 295771.
  • In the Belfast area contact British Red Cross TEO Crisis Fund Direct Dial: 028 90 323 055
  • Mid and East Antrim Borough Council- Ivy Goddard: 07525142205
  • Mid-Ulster support: 028 87750211
  • Specialised support Lifeline: 0808 808 8000
  • Public Initiative for Suicide Prevention: 0800 088 6042
  • Links Counselling: 02838 342825