New one metre restriction in retail – NI Executive ease restrictions

New one metre restriction in retail – NI Executive ease restrictions
Social distancing in shops reduced to 1m from 6pm on Friday 30th July 21


The NI Executive has reduced the social distancing requirement in retail from two to one metres from 6pm on Friday 30th July.

In its statement on Executive decisions on 29 July 2021 the Executive said:

“Following careful consideration of the public health situation and wider societal context, the Executive has today agreed a number of changes to the Covid-19 restrictions. The following changes will come into effect from 1800 on Friday 30 July.

Social distancing

“The Executive has considered whether some changes can be made to social distancing arrangements at this time, noting that there will be a fuller discussion on 12 August.

“The Executive has noted the health benefits of social distancing, the economic benefits of sectors and venues re-opening, and the societal benefits this brings.  The Executive has therefore decided that in relation to retail and shopping centres, the regulations will move from a requirement for 2 metres to 1 metre.  This will ensure consistency in regulations  with other indoor settings such as hospitality and indoor attractions.

“For outdoor venues, the guidance will continue to note the health benefits of 2 metres social distancing.  However, the guidance will further advise that social distancing requirements are strongly advised but are not a requirement.  Where possible, a minimum of 1 metre should be maintained and ideally 2 metres.

Recovery Plan

The Executive also agreed the Building Forward – Consolidated Covid Recovery Plan.

“The purpose of the draft Recovery Plan is to accelerate economic, health and societal recovery in the short term so we can emerge stronger and also to transform and innovate to plan now for longer term ambitions” the statement read.

“We have developed the integrated Recovery Plan to inform our priorities to accelerate recovery over a 24-month period through focused, collaborative working.  The Plan details 83 highly impactful interventions that will be progressed over the next 24 months to deliver recovery for all our citizens under four strategic Recovery Accelerators: sustainable economic development; green growth and sustainability; tackling inequalities and health of the population. These work together to ensure that we can emerge stronger from the pandemic.

We want to see our economy revived, resilient and dynamic. These interventions will help ensure we have an inclusive society where people have equal access to opportunities. The health of the population accelerator will lead to a resilient health sector, with all having access to health and social care in line with targets. We have prioritised green growth and sustainability to reduce our emissions and protect our environment.”