NI Lockdown: Restrictions explained

Northern Ireland has entered into tough new coronavirus restrictions to help stem the spread of rising Covid-19 cases. Credit: ITV

New restrictions aimed at tackling the spread of coronavirus have come into force in Northern Ireland.

A stay-at-home order is now legally enforceable.  That means you must stay at home and you can only leave if you have a 'reasonable excuse'.

The PSNI have the enforcement powers to order people home if engaging in prohibited activity, or if they are intending to do so.

If people are found to have breached the rules, they can be issued with a £200 fixed penalty notice or a fine of up to £5,000 if the case goes to court.

Northern Ireland's restrictions explained:


  •  You can leave to get essential food shopping, (GP, hospital care) medical help, or use services from businesses who are allowed to open. However, the advice is to leave home as little as possible, be organised and don’t stockpile

  •   You can travel for work if this can't be done from home

  •  You are allowed to leave in an emergency or vulnerable situation for example domestic abuse or providing care to a vulnerable person

  • You can still move house or seek legal services

Northern Ireland's lockdown is essentially a return to March's restrictions. Credit: UTV


  • You’re not allowed into another persons house unless its for maintenance for example building work or home repairs, childcare or a medical or caring reason

  • There are some exceptions; you can form one bubble with one other household They can meet indoors; up to a maximum of ten people and that includes children.


  • You can no longer mix in private gardens with the exception of your bubble.

  • Contact between parents and children who don't live in the same household is allowed

  • Up to 6 people from two houses including children can meet outdoors but you must maintain social distancing of 2 metres.

  • If you want to exercise you can go by yourself, with the people you live with, your bubble or one other person from another household but limited to two people. You should not travel more than 10 miles from your home to do this.