Regulations and Government Agency Guidance

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The Department of Health

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 and its subsequent amendments specify essential businesses which may remain open and non-essential businesses which must be closed.  This is enforced by PSNI and Council.  Regulations are reviewed regularly and updated to reflect which businesses may be open and which activities are permitted.  We all must await announcements from the Northern Ireland Executive to determine when and what type of businesses may reopen. 


The Northern Ireland Executive

The Northern Ireland Executive has published its 5 Stage Plan Coronavirus Executive Approach To Decision-Making for easing the COVID-19 lockdown and progression will depend on key health criteria being met. 


The Public Health Agency

The Public Health Agency website contains advice on protecting public health, during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Health and Safety Executive

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has guidance on Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak on its website including a short guide and talking with your workers.


The Health and Safety Executive for NI

HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.  Whilst HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland, it shares this responsibility with the 11 local councils. 


Northern Ireland Safety Group

A practical guide to making workplaces safer entitled ‘COVID-19: Working Through This Together gives a useful overview of the principles and steps for employers and employees to keep themselves and their workplaces safe


NI Business Info

The central resource for government support, advice and guidance for Northern Ireland business is on the NIBusinessInfo website.  Further information on Coronavirus: Business closures and restrictions is available on NI Business info website together with latest business advice, support and guidance and the timeline for NI business reopening.  As this situation is evolving rapidly, it is essential for employers and employees to keep themselves informed of the work related risks posed by COVID-19.   Please also see the guidance on working safely in different business settings


UK Government

Government guidance on ‘Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)’ has been published in consultation with industry to ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.  Please note, that much of this guidance may refer to England only and you should refer to the NIBusinessInfo guidance on working safely in different settings  in the first instance.



World Health Organization

The World Health Organization works worldwide to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.


Industry Specific Guidance

Industry specific guidance issued by government, is available on the NI government's business information website NIBusinessInfo.  A number of industry representative bodies have also produced their own gudiance, which should be read alongside the government issued guidance. Please click HERE to browse the list. 



Labour Relations Agency

The Labour Relations Agency has published guidance for businesses and workers on their rights and responsibilities for protecting staff and themselves from the spread of the virus 

Further sources of information:


Contact us

The Health and Safety team is available to deal with any queries you have by contacting us on
Tel: 028 2766 0257 or