Northern Ireland pub and restaurant rules as Covid restrictions are introduced


A number of new restrictions have been introduced in Northern Ireland over the past few days to help limit the spread of the Omicron variant.

These include changes to venue rules regarding dancing, table numbers and more.

They will be considered when the Executive meets again on Thursday, January 13.

What are the rules for bars and restaurants in NI?

  • You must be seated in all indoor reception areas with a maximum of 6 people, or 10 people from a single household, allowed at a table. (Children 12 and under are not counted in the total. This requirement does not apply to marriages or civil partnership celebrations.)
  • The only movement allowed inside is to access the toilets or changing rooms, select food from a buffet or pay.
  • The discos are now closed.
  • It is forbidden to dance in all reception areas. (Does not apply to weddings or civil partnership celebrations)
  • Companies have a legal obligation to take reasonable steps to promote compliance with face covering requirements, with a grace period until January 7 before the application is implemented.

  • Face covers can only be removed while sitting at a table in a restaurant, cafe or bar, or while eating or drinking.

  • Companies have a legal obligation to take all reasonable steps to minimize the transmission of the spread of the virus, with a grace period until January 7 before the application is implemented.

  • You must show proof of your Covid-19 status before entering any “bring your own” type premises where alcohol may be consumed. More information on this can be found HERE.

Share your take on the Omicron variant below, or click here.

A number of reception venues made the decision before Christmas to close or reduce their opening hours as Covid cases increased.

The Morne Seafood Bar on Bank Street in Belfast city center decided to close its doors last week.

They confirmed they would be closed until the New Year, due to circumstances “beyond their control.”

On December 16, the Sunflower Pub on Union Street also decided to close before Christmas.

A post read: “It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close the pub until the New Year. Unfortunately, some of our staff have tested positive for Covid-19, and in the interest of their colleagues and the safety of our customers, we feel that we have no other choice but to have a circuit breaker until January 3, 2022. “

The Cathedral Quarter Harp Bar said it had reduced its opening hours “in response to the evolving Covid situation”.

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