All non Essential Shops to Close

The government announced that all non-essential retail and public spaces must close from 24 March as part of measures implemented to stop the spread of Coronavirus

Boris Johnston announced as part of new government measures to stop the spread of Coronavirus that all non essential retail stores and public spaces must close. The NI Executive clarified on 24 March which businesses in Northern Ireland could remain open and those that must close.

Closure of all non-essential retail stores and public spaces
The following is a list of businesses that are required to close:

  • Clothes shops.
  • Electronics shops.
  • Hair, beauty and nail salons.
  • All other non-essential retail shops, including off-licenses.
  • All other indoor and outdoor markets including non-food markets and car boot sales.
  • Hotels, hostels, Bed and Breakfasts, Caravan Parks, Camping sites, Boarding Houses – except where caravans and mobile homes are being used as permanent residences and where hotels are providing emergency accommodation.
  • Libraries.
  • Community centres and youth centres.
  • Places of worship – all churches should close to services except for funeral services. Weddings and baptisms should be postponed. If clergy want to live-stream for church services, they are free to do so.
  • All indoor recreation sites such as bowling alleys, arcades, soft play areas.
  • Enclosed spaces in public parks such as playgrounds, tennis courts and outdoor gyms.

Business that will not need to close include:

  • Supermarkets (excluding any cafes within them), convenience stores and corner shops
  • Grocery markets – not including farmers markets, hot food markets or street food markets.
  • Local fresh food suppliers like butchers, fishmongers and bakeries.
  • Hot food takeaways - over the counter services only and not allowing an option to eat in.
  • Pharmacies/Chemists and Health food shops.
  • Dental surgeries, opticians, audiology, physiotherapy, chiropody and other professional vocational medical services – for urgent appointments only.
  • Veterinary clinics and pet shops.
  • Newsagents.
  • Hardware and building supplies stores.
  • Retail services in hospitals.
  • Petrol stations, garages, and auto repair shops for urgent work only.
  • High street banks, credit unions and cash points.
  • Post offices.
  • Funeral directors, crematoriums and related.
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners.
  • Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop-off points.
  • Medical or storage services.
  • Public car parks in towns and cities near food takeaway services.
  • Public toilets.

Online retail remains open and postal and delivery service will run as normal.

Read the full NI Executive list here

Read the full UK government list and exceptions here

Information correct at time of publishing (24 March)