Easing of COVID-19 restrictions continues

Martin McKiernan

May 25 2021

Summer is right around the corner and the economy continues to reopen, with indoor dining and household visits resuming on May 24th. While this should raise hopes and give everyone something to look forward to, employers remain unsure of what the future holds for their business.

Here, we look at where Northern Ireland is at with regards to reopening, and how the further easing of restrictions could impact your business and staff.

What’s the current reopening situation?

The upcoming Irish Cup Final is being used as a trial for the potential reopening of mass spectator events across Northern Ireland. Up to 1,000 people can attend as the Executive begins to test the effectiveness of their restrictions against the cautious reopening of parts of the economy.

The Northern Ireland Executive is sticking to their plan in reviewing the regulations alongside the rate of coronavirus in the community. Details of current COVID-19 restrictions can be found in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021.

When can we expect further easing of restrictions?

As of May 24th, licensed and unlicensed establishments have resumed indoor service subject to tables being limited to six people. Other indoor attractions including cinemas, bingo halls, and libraries have also reopened.

It’s important to consider how the reopening of certain businesses may affect your staff. Risk assessments will be key when identifying any gaps or risks that you may have in terms of enforcing public health guidance. Guidance remains in place for the wearing of masks, maintaining two metres distance, and enforcing hand hygiene.

Discussions should happen with staff to inform them of the current guidance and what’s expected of them during their working hours. By involving staff in the decision-making process, you’re less likely to face any resistance.

The current set of restrictions are due to be reviewed again by June 10th, 2020. Further risk assessments and discussions with staff may need to be carried out following that review.

Need expert guidance when returning employees to the workplace?

Our advisors can provide help and support on returning your employees to the workplace. To speak with a HR or health & safety expert now, call 0800 917 0771.

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