Guidance for Urban Centres and Green Spaces (COVID-19)

Date published: 29 June 2020

Last updated: 19 October 2021

The below document and the guidance within it have been updated as of 19 October 2021. This revision consolidates guidance on social distancing and face coverings, whilst removing references to expired sources of other guidance. An additional source of retail guidance has been added to the Appendix by way of information.

This guidance focuses on the design principles for safer urban centres and green spaces. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 impose temporary statutory restrictions, including on the use of certain premises and public outdoor spaces, and are under constant review by the Department of Health.


This guidance contains information on assessing possible issues and provides some examples of interventions that may be undertaken by the owners and operators of public spaces to keep people safer as and when the restrictions are relaxed and these places become busier. It is intended to enable them to plan for the temporary adaptations and interventions that will be needed as the restrictions on staying at home are gradually reduced and we move through the stages of the NI Executive’s Moving Forward: Pathway out of Restrictions.

This guidance has been prepared on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive.

This guidance applies in Northern Ireland only.

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