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NI’s updated Public Health Protection Regulations published on Eve of stricter lockdown



A few hours before new public health restrictions kick into force, the legal legislation has been published, detailing among other things permissible reasons for leaving your home and details for restrictions on gatherings.

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β€’ A person shall not participate in an indoor or

outdoor gathering in a private dwelling which consists of persons fromβ€”

(a) more than one household, or

(b) more than one household and its linked household, provided that such a gathering does not consist of more than 10 persons.


β€’ The above does not apply where the gathering is for the purpose ofβ€”


(a) the provision of care or assistance, including social services, to a vulnerable person;

(b) childcare provided by a person registered in accordance with the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 or any childcare provided free of charge;

(c) building or maintenance works or the provision of the services of any trade or profession at the private dwelling;

(d) giving or receiving legal advice or assistance or fulfilling a legal obligation;

(e) to move house and to undertake associated activities for that purpose, including viewing properties and making arrangements for removals;

(f) the provision of emergency or medical assistance to any person; or

(g) the removal of the remains of a deceased person to the private dwelling.

(3) (a) Paragraph (1) does not apply to an indoor gathering for the purpose of a marriage or a civil partnership ceremony where a party to the marriage or civil partnership is seriously ill and death in consequence of that illness can reasonably be expected within six months of the date of the ceremony.

(b) In a case referred to in sub-paragraph (a) an indoor gathering in a private dwelling may consist of up to ten persons including the participants and officiant.

(4) (a) Paragraph (1) does not apply where the gathering is for the purpose of a funeral or an event associated with a funeral.

(b) In a case referred to in sub-paragraph (a) a person attending, or a person responsible for organising or operating, the funeral or event associated with a funeral shall comply with the guidance on funerals issued by the Department of Health.


LEAVING YOUR HOME...


No person may leave or remain away from the place where they normally live

without reasonable excuse.


β€’ A reasonable excuse includes:


(a) to obtain goods or services from any business listed in Part 2 of Schedule 1,

(b) to take exercise individually or as permitted by Regulation 5B,

(c) to obtain or provide medical assistance, including to access dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths, sports massage therapy and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health,

(d) to access veterinary surgeons and pet shops,

(e) to obtain or provide care or assistance, including relevant personal care within the meaning of paragraph 7(3B) of Schedule 2 to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (Northern Ireland) Order 2007(a), to a vulnerable person, or to provide emergency assistance,

(f) to donate blood,

(g) to attend work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work, or to provide those services, from the place where they normally live or where their linked household normally lives,

(h) to attend a funeral,

(i) to visit a burial ground to pay respects to a member of the person’s household, family member or friend,

(j) to fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or to participate in legal proceedings,

(k) to provide or access critical public services, includingβ€”

(i) youth services or educational facilities (where these are available to a child or young person in relation to whom that person is the parent of, or has parental responsibility for or care of, the child),

(ii) childcare provided by a person registered in accordance with the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 or any childcare provided free of charge,

(iii) social care services,

(iv) services provided by the Department for Communities,

(v) services provided to victims (such as victims of crime),

(vi) services provided by a district council or other public body, including household waste or recycling centres,

(l) in relation to children who do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents, to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children, and for the purposes of this paragraph, β€œparent” includes a person who is not a parent of the child, but who has parental responsibility for, or who has care of, the child,

(m) in the case of a minister of religion or belief leader, to go to their place of worship or place where they practice their beliefs,

(n) to move house and to undertake associated activities for that purpose, including visiting estate agents, viewing properties and making arrangements for removals,

(o) to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm,

(p) to attend a place of worship or place where a person practices their beliefs,

(q) to take part in an outdoor gathering or activity,

(r) to attend to the care or welfare of animals, including to access animal care or welfare services, including boarding, stabling, grooming, exercising, sitting or training animals,

(s) to attend or participate in a marriage or civil partnership ceremony,

(t) in the case of an elite athlete or the parent of an elite athlete who is under the age of 18, for the purpose of a sporting event as permitted by Regulation 5B,

(u) to visit another person’s private dwelling, either alone or accompanied by others,

(v) for the purpose of staying overnight as permitted by Regulation 6A,

(w) to take part in, or assist with, a sporting event in an indoor or outdoor sports facility as permitted by Regulation 5B,

(x) to obtain basic necessities, including food and medical supplies for those in the same household, or

(y) to access library services as permitted by Regulation 4DE.


The full document can be viewed here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/2021/3/pdfs/nisr_20210003_en.pdf



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