Following a rise in cases of COVID-19, as of Friday 16 October, Northern Ireland is subject to additional restrictions, which will impact the tourism and hospitality sector. These restrictions are envisioned to be temporary and will be in place for four weeks.
If you are a tourism partner, please refer to this page for updates.
Under the new rules, hospitality businesses must close, except for delivery or takeaway; other takeaway premises will be brought in line with hospitality with a closing time of 11.00pm and; no mass events involving more than 15 people will be permitted. These restrictions include hotels, which must close to leisure visitors from Friday 16 October. Self-catering accommodation is not affected.
Many visitor attractions and activity providers are also closed for the four-week period, so please check our website and with the provider before planning a visit.
For a full list of the restrictions, please click here.
Welcoming you Back to Belfast Safely
Welcoming you Back to Belfast Safely
Belfast Working to Help you Stay Safe: Belfast’s businesses are working hard to welcome you back to Belfast safely – city businesses displaying the mark want to provide assurances that the are following the latest government guidelines.
Northern Ireland is Good to Go: ‘We’re Good To Go’ is the official UK mark to signal that tourism or hospitality businesses across Northern Ireland are following Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, putting in place processes to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing. Businesses that have achieved the ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark can display the licensed logo on their premises and as part of their communications.
From 10 August the use of face coverings when you are in a public area indoors, such as in a shop or attraction, when social distancing is not possible, will be mandatory. Face coverings are also mandatory when using public transport across Northern Ireland – for more info click here.
Before you travel, our advice is to contact individual providers for up to date opening information. Anyone seeking visitor information can contact the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre and one of our travel advisors will be able to help.
For the most up to date information, advice and guidance, visit:
- NI Direct: gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19
- Department of Health: health-ni.gov.uk/news
- Public Health Agency: hscni.net/news/covid-19-coronavirus
The Public Health Agency is working with partners across the UK including Public Health England, the Department of Health and health trusts in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland, on the ongoing response to coronavirus health crisis.
Travelling to Belfast
Please check with individual transport providers for the latest information and precautions you need to take before planning a visit.
Visit Belfast Welcome Centre
The Visit Belfast Welcome Centre and our visitor information desks at Belfast International Airport and George Best Belfast City Airport are now open and we’re doing everything we can to keep you and our visitor servicing teams safe and provide the warm welcome and first class information service for which we are known. New measures are in place in the centre, including a one-way system, hand sanitising stations and contactless payment where possible. For the time being, we will not be providing a left-luggage service.
Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, Donegall Square North: Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5.30pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm. (Please note the Ticketmaster desk at Visit Belfast is now closed – customers can still apply for a refund directly from Ticketmaster via this link).
Visit Belfast at Belfast International Airport: Open daily subject to flight schedules.
Visit Belfast at George Best Belfast City Airport: Open Monday to Friday 8am to 5.30pm and Sunday 2pm to 7pm (closed on Saturday).
Not ready to travel to Belfast? We are still providing vital information services on our website, and visitors can email queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 028 9024 6609. You can also tweet your queries using #AskVisitBelfast.
Hotels & Hospitality
From Friday 16 October, hotels in Northern Ireland are mandated to close to leisure visitors. There are exemptions for travelling for work and emergency accommodation needs.
Additionally, pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed except for takeaway and delivery.
We advise checking our website for up to date information and contacting businesses directly before travelling.
These restrictions are in force for four weeks.
Many visitor attractions and activity providers are closed under the new restrictions put in place on 16 October. Please check with our website and with individual providers before planning a visit.
Travelling Safely around Belfast / Northern Ireland
Before you decide to travel we recommend you plan ahead. Consider where you’re travelling to and how easy it will be to maintain social distance on your journey and at your destination. It is more difficult to maintain social distancing in crowded areas. Thinking about this before you travel can help protect yourself and others.
Things to consider:
- Can you walk or cycle to the destination?
- What’s the latest travel advice from my transport operator?
- Can you book your ticket online, or is contactless payment is possible?
- Can you avoid crowded areas
- What’s the most direct route to my destination?
Do you need an essential run to the shops, or a delivery to an isolated relative? Value Cabs continue to operate 24/7 and have added a range of delivery services too. They’ve also adopted a number of measures to ensure the safety of their passengers and drivers. This includes a maximum of three passengers per taxi only and touch point clean downs between journeys. Protective screens have been fitted in many of their taxis and vehicles fitted with screens are available upon request. Download the app (valuecabs.co.uk/app) or call 028 9080 9080.
Bus and Rail Services
Since 10 July 2020 it has been the law to wear a face covering when using public transport services.
Passengers and staff must wear a face covering:
- on bus, coach and train services
- in public transport stations
This law does not apply to tour coaches and taxis or private hire vehicles, however we recommend you check with your transport provider as they may have their own rules that you will need to follow.
For more information on bus and rail services provided by Translink visit translink.co.uk .
Advice for Visitors Currently in Belfast
Visitors who have concerns while here in Northern Ireland should contact the special coronavirus helpline on 0300 200 7885.
If it is a medical emergency, call 999 and inform the call handler of your recent travel.
If you are NOT registered with a GP in Northern Ireland, you’ll find important information available via the NI Direct website which you should refer to.
Advice for Industry Partners
Public Health Advice
The same advice for the seasonal flu applies for coronavirus: if you cough or sneeze, use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose, throw it away carefully after use, and wash your hands.
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms, either:
- A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- A new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.
How long to stay at home:
If you have symptoms, stay at home for seven days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms (new advice as of 16 March 2020). For more information on public health advice and self-isolating go to publichealth.hscni.net.
The UK government is also advising everyone to take social distancing measures. Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus.
- Avoiding contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus, including a high temperature or new and continuous cough
- Avoiding non-essential use of public transport
- Working from home, where possible
- Avoiding large gatherings and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential service
For full advice on social distancing, go to gov.uk.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common across the world. These viruses can cause mild symptoms ranging from a fever and cough to more serious conditions such as severe pneumonia, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In December 2019, a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified in Wuhan City, China. This virus has now spread to other countries.