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Frequently asked questions on additional restrictions for Derry and Strabane

02 October 2020

Why have additional restrictions been introduced in this area?

The rapid increase in transmission in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area is very concerning. This district has an incidence of over 300 new cases per 100,000 of the population. By comparison, this is more than double the total for the next highest local government district. These localised restrictions have been introduced as an emergency measure to stop the spread of Covid-19. This being done to protect people from the virus, reduce the level of hospitalisations and save lives.

How long will the restrictions be in place?

These additional restrictions will be in place for an initial period of 2 weeks. They will be reviewed on a weekly basis. We will not keep them in place for any longer than is necessary.

Can I meet people indoors?

There should be no mixing of households indoors. Certain exemptions apply to private dwellings.

I’ve formed a bubble with another household. Can we continue to meet?

You can still bubble with one other household. These two households can be any size. However, gatherings in a private dwelling should be no more than six people at any one time.

My parents don’t live together – can I still see them both?

Children whose parents don’t live in the same household can move between homes as normal.

Can I still meet people in a private garden?

Up to six people from no more than two households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, but you should maintain social distancing. If the gathering is with members of your bubble only, then a maximum of 15 people from the two households can meet up outdoors in a private garden. Children aged 12 and under from two bubbled households are not counted in the totals.

How many people can meet in other outdoor areas?

Gatherings of up to 15 people are permitted where there is social distancing. There will be no exceptions for gatherings above 15 with a risk assessment.

Can sporting events continue and can they have spectators?

There will be an exemption for sports training and sporting events. However, spectators will not be permitted.

What’s the advice for medically vulnerable and older people?

Medically vulnerable and older people are asked to be particularly careful in following the advice on limiting household contacts, social distancing, hand washing and wearing a face covering. It is recommended that individuals should limit interaction to a very small network of contacts for short periods of time, while remaining physically distanced. When outdoors, it is important to maintain social distance from others and wash hands on returning home.
Further advice will be issued to those previously shielding in the area.

Can I still go to work as normal?

You should work from home if it’s possible for you to do so.

Is it ok to travel?

People living in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area should avoid all unnecessary travel. Similarly, people should only travel to the Derry City and Strabane District Council area where it is absolutely necessary.
Where travel is necessary for work, education and other essential purposes, people are asked to walk, cycle or use private transport, shared only with members of their household where possible. When public transport is used, face coverings should be used and social distancing should be maintained were possible.

Can childcare continue?

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. This includes informal childcare arrangements.

Can I send my child to school?

Schools, early learning / childcare settings are not affected by the current regulations and will remain open. Managed youth settings can also continue to operate in line with current guidance.
Further and Higher Education Institutions should also remain open, but are asked to review protective measures and take steps to limit the gathering of groups of people as much as possible.

What services can hospitality venues provide?

Hospitality venues can remain open for take-away, delivery and outdoor dining only. Wet pubs can serve customers outdoors only. Existing restrictions for outdoor settings will continue to apply. Hotels can only provide services to residents as per previous restrictions.

Are shops staying open?

Yes. Retail business can remain open in line with current guidance and with appropriate safety measures in place. It is mandatory to wear a face covering when shopping or shopping centre.

What about other services like hair dressers or beauticians?

They can also remain open in line with current guidance and with appropriate safety measures in place.

Can I still get work done in my house?

Yes. Workers, builders, trades people and other professionals can continue to go into people’s houses to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries. Appropriate safety precautions should be taken to minimise risk.

I run a business from home – can I keep working?

People who run a business from their own home can continue to carry out their work with appropriate safety measures in place.
Any visits should only be for the purposes of the business activity and should be risk-assessed and in line with relevant guidance.

What about church services?

Services of worship in places of worship can continue to take place in line with relevant guidance. Social distancing and appropriate protective measures, such as the wearing of face coverings are of vital importance.

Can I still get married?

Marriages and civil partnerships ceremonies can continue to take place, in line with the current restrictions.
A marriage or civil partnership where one partner is terminally ill can take place in a private dwelling. A maximum of 10 people can attend, not counting children aged 12 and under in that total.

Can funerals take place?
Funerals can continue to take place, in line with guidance on managing funerals and associated gatherings. The size of the venue will determine the maximum number that can attend the service safely whilst observing social distancing of at least two metres, wherever possible.