COVID-19 - Guidance on reopening of funfairs in Northern Ireland

On 2 March 2021 the Executive published a planned pathway out of the current COVID-19 restrictions and set out the approach that will be taken over the coming months. The relaxation date for the reopening of Funfairs was agreed as 23 April for outdoor and 24 May for indoor.

Funfairs will operate in a new and challenging environment when they emerge from the COVID-19 public health crisis. There are a number of guiding principles which must be taken into account when reopening facilities to help ensure that further transmission of the virus is minimised.

Guiding Principles

The approach taken to re-opening the tourism and hospitality industry, in terms of starting assumptions and guiding principles will apply also to Funfairs:

  • Progress on re-opening will depend on controlling the rate of transmission
  • Social distancing measures will remain in place over time
  • Employers have a duty to assess and manage risks to safety in the workplace, and need to be aware of the concerns of staff returning to work. 

Social distancing measures, in line with current regulations, must be strictly adhered to throughout all venues.

The number of people able to use a facility at a given time may be reduced to comply with current social distancing regulations.

Additional measures may be required to help protect staff who work in the venue, to include the installation of protective screening, and the availability of protective masks

Customer Guidance on social distancing and good hygiene will be clearly displayed throughout the venue.

Enhanced cleaning/hygiene measures will be introduced, to include arrangements for cleaning all facilities customers will be in contact with on a regular basis, and cleaning of rides after each customer.

Customers will be given the option of wearing disposable gloves.

Customers may be required to queue before entering the venue to ensure numbers do not exceed the capacity for compliance with social distancing regulations.

Additional Information

Detailed guidance on keeping workers and visitors safe in outdoor facilities has been produced by the Events Industry Forum in GB. This guidance will be helpful in assisting providers to ensure that facilities can be reopened safely in Northern Ireland.

This guidance sets out details on how to open workplaces and outdoor facilities safely while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19. It gives practical considerations of how this can be applied in the workplace for workers, volunteers, attendees and visitors.

Each business will need to translate this into the specific actions it needs to take, depending on the nature of the business, including the size and type of business, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated. Some of the key areas covered in the guidance include:

Risk Assessment

To help businesses decide which actions to take, they will be required to undertake an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment and share this with staff and relevant stakeholders.

Social Distancing

Where outdoor events are permitted to take place, social distancing should be maintained at all times between attendees who are from different households or support bubbles, and between attendees and staff. Social interactions should be limited to a group of no more than two households (indoors and out) or up to six people from different households (if outdoors).

Test and Trace

Guidance on collecting of customer data for test and trace purposes must be followed. Businesses should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of all attendees for a period of 21 days. This practice can help to contain clusters or further outbreaks of the virus.

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