List of essential businesses allowed to open in NI

The Northern Ireland Executive has published a list of essential businesses that are allowed to stay open to the public during the coronavirus pandemic.

The list provides clarity on what retail services and other venues may remain open and which should close immediately.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “These measures will remain under review, but it is crucial that people limit their movement outside their homes and only shop for essentials when it is absolutely necessary.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill added: “We know how difficult it is for those businesses to shut their doors. We are talking about people’s livelihoods.

“But if this action isn’t taken immediately, it will result in the loss of more lives.”

Essential businesses that can stay open:

  • Supermarkets (excluding any cafes within them), convenience stores and corner shops

  • Grocery markets – not including farmers markets, hot food markets or street food markets

  • Local fresh food suppliers like butchers, fishmongers and bakeries

  • Hot food takeaways - over the counter services only and not allowing an option to eat in

  • Pharmacies/chemists and health food shops

  • Dental surgeries, opticians, audiology, physiotherapy, chiropody and other professional vocational medical services – for urgent appointments only

  • Veterinary clinics and pet shops

  • Newsagents

  • Hardware and building supplies stores

  • Retail services in hospitals

  • Petrol stations, garages, and auto repair shops for urgent work only

  • High street banks, credit unions and cash points

  • Post offices

  • Funeral directors, crematoriums and related

  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners

  • Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop-off points

  • Medical or storage services

  • Public car parks in towns and cities near food takeaway services

  • Public toilets

The closures are temporary, but it is unclear when businesses will be able to return to normal. Credit: Presseye

Non-essential businesses that should close immediately:

  • Clothes shops

  • Electronics shops

  • Hair, beauty and nail salons

  • All other non-essential retail shops, including off-licenses

  • All other indoor and outdoor markets including non-food markets and car boot sales

  • Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks, camping sites, boarding houses – except where caravans and mobile homes are being used as permanent residences and where hotels are providing emergency accommodation

  • Libraries

  • Community centres and youth centres

  • Places of worship – all churches should close to services except for funeral services -weddings and baptisms should be postpone, but if clergy want to live-stream for church services, they are free to do so

  • All indoor recreation sites such as bowling alleys, arcades, soft play areas

  • Enclosed spaces in public parks such as playgrounds, tennis courts and outdoor gyms

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know