Northern Ireland household and outdoor mixing rules you must currently follow
Households are not allowed to mix indoors in private homes with a few exemptions, which are listed below:
- bubbling with one other household
- building or maintenance work
- the services of trades or professions (close contact services will be allowed from Friday 20 November)
- 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
What about the garden?
Up to six people from no more than two households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, but social distancing should be maintained.
Children aged 12 and under are not counted in this total.
You can form one bubble with one other household and the households can be of any any size. However, indoor meetings between households in the bubble are limited to a maximum of 10 people, including children, at any one time.
To contain the risk of spreading the virus a household cannot be part of more than one bubble. Therefore, members of the two households within a bubble will not be permitted to have close contact with visitors from a third household. They should maintain social distancing from people outside of their bubble.
If anyone within your bubble develops symptoms, all members of the bubble should self-isolate. Particular care needs to be taken if any member is regarded as a vulnerable person in terms of the virus, which may include the elderly or those with other health conditions.
If a household wishes to change the household that they bubble with, the household must wait 14 days from the last visit of the original linked household before starting a new bubble with another household.
An overnight stay in a private home is not allowed unless it is a member of your bubble. Exemptions, including for emergency reasons, are detailed in the regulations.
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. Informal childcare arrangements are also allowed to continue.
Indoor/outdoor gatherings excluding private dwellings, weddings and funerals
Up to 15 people can meet outdoors but should maintain social distancing by being at least two metres apart, as well as good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.
Up to 15 people can meet indoors, except in someone’s home, a static caravan or self-catering holiday home.
You may not organise, operate or participate in an indoor or outdoor gathering which consists of more than 15 people.
The following exemptions apply:
- a gathering in a workplace, if it is not possible to work at home
- a gathering to provide emergency or medical assistance to any person
- a gathering in a place of worship for a religious activity
- elite sports
Travelling to outdoor spaces
Spending time outdoors is good for your physical and mental health. Physical activities, such as walking, running, cycling, horse riding, or just walking the dog, bring many health benefits.
You can travel for recreational purposes to outdoor open spaces such as a parks, forest parks and visitor attractions. Town centres remain open for business.
When using outdoor spaces, you should follow the rules and social distancing guidelines.
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