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COVID-19

A Northern Ireland-specific contact tracing app 'StopCOVID NI' has been developed by the Department of Health.
This free app from our health service will support contact tracing, help prevent another lockdown and save lives.
It tells you automatically if you've been near another app user who tests positive. It can also let them know if you test positive.
It never knows or shares your identity or location.
The app is now available to download from your app store - the Apple App Store for iPhones and the Google Play Store for most other phones. Search 'StopCOVID NI'. You should see the app with its black and white HSC logo. Click 'Install' or 'Get'.
The app will then be installed on your phone. Open the app and follow the guidance to set it up.
 

A list of COVID Test Centres can be found here.

A number of government departments and agencies are providing help and advice on Corona Virus COVID-19.


The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020
 
www.health-ni.gov.uk/publications/health-protection-coronavirus-restrictions-northern-ireland-regulations-2020
 
These Regulations were made on the 28 March 2020 by the Department of Health in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Northern Ireland. These Regulations support the public health response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.  On the 23 July 2020 these regulations were revoked and replaced by The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 with savings.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (Amendment No.8) Regulations (Northern Ireland ) 2020 came into force on midnight on the 5th October 2020 which put into effect additional restrictions within DCSDC area.
 
 
 
The Northern Ireland Executive announced further restrictions on Wednesday 14th October 2020.
A full list of these restrictions can be found at:
 
 

Guidance for Close Contact

See below guidance produced by DCSDC and government produced guidance, for close contact services such as hairdressing, barbershops, beauty, nail bars and tanning studios etc.

Guidance for Close Contact Services

Keeping-workers-and-clients-safe-during-covid-19-close-contact-services

Food Safety, Health & Safety and Product Safety Advice for Businesses

Our Food Safety Team and Health and Safety & Consumer Protection Team, wish to offer support and guidance to businesses at this difficult time.

See below guidance produced by DCSDC and government produced guidance for Community Centres.

DCSDC Community Centres guidance for reopening.

 

Guidance for the Tourism and Hospitality Sectors

See below guidance produced by DCSDC and industry produced guidance, for the tourism and hospitality sectors.  

 DCSDC Guidance:​

https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-working-safely-tourism-and-hospitality

 

Guidance for Retailers

See below guidance produced by DCSDC and other agencies for the retail sectors.

Guidance for Retailers

https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-workplace-safety-guidelines-and-social-distancing

https://www.hseni.gov.uk/news/covid-19-safety-measures-advice-businesses

Risk Assessment 

All sectors need to consider all relevant guidance and risk assess their work activities, to ensure risks associated with the potential spread of coronavirus are suitably and sufficiently addressed and all statutory health and safety obligations are met.  HSENI have developed an example Covid-19 risk assessment, that shows you the kind of approach that a small business needs to take, when carrying out a risk assessment for COVID-19 in the workplace:

https://www.hseni.gov.uk/news/example-risk-assessment-covid-19-workplaces 

If you would like further information on which categories of businesses are permitted to reopen and further information on the required safety standards, please contact the Environmental Health Service on 02871253253 or via [email protected] 

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Food Safety Advice for Businesses

We appreciate that your business may have to change its business model to include new aspects of food production or include a delivery service as a result of Covid – 19, please see below some useful links to assist in ensuring that you meet a high standards of food hygiene and ensure that food is safe for consumption by the public.

​​If there are any changes to your existing food business operations or you intend to operate a new food business in this time, please feel free to contact us for support and guidance at Environmental Health Food Safety Team on 028 71253253 or email [email protected]

 

Further advice is available from the Food Standards Agency Website  www.food.gov.uk

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Food Safety Advice for General Public

We understand members of the public may have concerns over food safety issues at this time. Advice is available in the following :

COVID-19 Food Safety Advice 

Safe Shopping Guide

FSA Guidance on Corona Virus and Food

 

Volunteers within the Community helping with Food Supplies

Many volunteers are working tirelessly to ensure vulnerable and elderly have a continued food supply in this difficult time.

Please find below guidance to allow this to be carried out as safely as possible.

DCSDC Guidance for Community Groups

Taxi Drivers Assisting Deliveries

Food Safety for Community Cooking & Food Banks

Volunteers Advice for Assisting with Home Deliveries

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Health and Safety Consumer Protection Team

Manufacture and Supply of Biocidal Hand Sanitiser

If you are considering manufacturing hand Sanitiser products for supply, you must ensure that you contact the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Biocides Team via [email protected]​​  and also make our Health & Safety Consumer Protection Team aware via [email protected]  and [email protected]

For basic hand sanitisers which make no medical or cosmetic claims, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for enforcing the supply chain approvals under the EU Biocidal Products Regulations 2012 (BPR)

HSE has issued a derogation, in the short term, from product authorisation for hand sanitiser containing propan-2-ol, products will not be required to obtain a product authorisation if they meet the relevant WHO-specified formulation II However, manufacturers must contact the HSE via  [email protected]

Specific advice is available from the links below:

 

The Department for the Economy has published guidance on: 

We understand that this is a very challenging time for businesses.  Please feel free to contact the Health and Safety and Consumer Protection Team for further support and guidance on 028 71253253 or via [email protected]  and  [email protected]

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Air Quality

In relation to air quality the monitoring of air pollution by local authorities on behalf of the UK government is seen as an essential service due to the respiratory impacts of Covid 19. As such the Council continues to monitor air quality at a number of air monitoring stations across the Council area and latest information from these  can be seen at www.airqualityni.co.uk

Unfortunately, it is not possible to monitor air quality at all locations but via the aforementioned website you can receive high air pollution alerts free to your mobile phone to let you know when air pollution levels are high.

To subscribe to the 'Air Aware' service, text AIR to 67300 .

The Council also has a number of smoke control areas in operation and these are located in Strabane Town, Newtownstewart and Castlederg.

Further details on these can be seen at  www.derrystrabane.com/airquality

 

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Department of Communities Guidance for Private Rental Sector

The Department for Communities has produced guidance setting out general advice and information predominantly for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector.  The guidance covers issues which may arise during the Covid-19 outbreak including what to do if you/your tenant is struggling with paying rent, advice around carrying out emergency repairs, and information on minimising moves within rented accommodation and eviction proceedings. 

The guidance includes links to further detailed information and sources of advice and assistance including the Housing Executive, Housing Rights and the Public Health Agency.  The advice contains information around additional sources of finance at this time (including help with housing costs and information on how to access assistance with mortgage holidays).

The guidance will be kept under review and updated as matters develop. 

https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/publications/covid-19-guidance-private-rented-sector-landlords-and-tenants​​

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Environmental Health Services

Environmental Health has put a number of measures into place to allow it to operate as many services as possible and can be contacted via the main office at 📞028 71 253253

Please contact the service areas directly at: