Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact the way we live, work and travel. Belfast is reopening, however, Visit Belfast will continue to monitor the evolving situation, working closely with our partners Tourism Northern Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance, Belfast City Council and industry bodies to provide the best advice and support when we have it
Welcoming you Back to Belfast Safely
Belfast Working to Help you Stay Safe: Belfast’s retailers, tourism and hospitality businesses are working hard to welcoming 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 already mandatory when using public transport across Northern Ireland – for more info: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-face-coverings
Many businesses in Belfast and beyond are re-opening. However, 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
Flights to and from Northern Ireland are resuming all the time and ferry services continue to run too. Please check with individual providers for the latest information/ timetables and precautions you need to take whilst travelling.
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.
Revised Opening Hours (August 2020)
Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, Donegall Square North: Monday to Saturday 9am to 5.30pm & 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: Monday to Saturday 7.30am to 5.30pm & Sunday 9am to 5pm
Visit Belfast at George Best Belfast City Airport: Monday to Saturday 11am to 5.30pm & Closed Sunday
Not ready to travel to Belfast? We are still providing vital information services on our website, and visitors can email queries to email@example.com or telephone 028 9024 6609. You can also tweet your queries using #AskVisitBelfast.
Hotels & Hospitality
Our hotels, tourist accommodation, public houses and bars have been allowed to open from 3 July 2020 (caravan parks, camping sites and self-catering tourist accommodation from 26 June) – please check with individual accommodation providers on their status and the measures they’re putting in place to keep you and staff safe and well.
Our attractions, museums and experiences are reopening too – many are limiting capacity to keep you safe and well and requiring visitors to pre-book a slot before coming – you can find out which businesses are reopening below or contact the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre on the details above.
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.