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Coronavirus: Covid certification scheme

Find out what the latest restrictions mean for your business.

Covid Certification Scheme

New regulations have been introduced in Northern Ireland to require individuals wishing to attend certain events and/or enter certain premises to provide suitable evidence of covid status. The regulations also introduce requirements for persons organising, managing or providing the business or service. The regulations came into force on 29th November 2021 and all relevant premises must comply with them within 14 days i.e. by 13th December 2021.

The Executive have confirmed that at this stage the COVID STATUS CERTIFICATION requirement currently only applies to hospitality premises where intoxicating liquor is served and/or when bring your own (BYO) alcohol is permitted and in certain other premises and venues as outlined below.

Summary of Restrictions Tourism and Hospitality Businesses.

If you do not serve or permit alcohol to be served on your premises then the new requirements do not apply.

Whilst relevant premises for the new restrictions do not currently include unlicensed premises (unless BYO is allowed) the NI Executive have indicated that it is their intention that unlicensed premises will be included at a later date.

To assist with implementation of the scheme please find attached the Covid Cert Check NI Mobile App User Guide, and information on handling personal data. Below are links to the Privacy Notice and Covid Status Certificate App User Guide and Venues Guidance on what other forms of evidence are acceptable.

Evidencing Covid Status

A person may evidence their Covid status through a number of means, as follows;

  • certification of a course of doses of an authorised vaccination (in paper or electronic form), with proof that final dose has been received at least 14 days before relevant time (time of entering event or entering premises); Vaccination cards together with photo ID are also acceptable.
  • certification of a negative COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test, or a negative result of an on-site COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test, within 48 hours of relevant time, by text or email through NHS Covid-19 reporting app;
  • valid notification of a positive COVID-19 PCR test, taken no earlier than 30 days, and no later than 180 days, before relevant time;
  • written confirmation of their participation (from the organiser of that trial) in a clinical coronavirus vaccination trial; or
  • evidence provided using N.I Covid Certification process, or an equivalent process if not a resident of Northern Ireland for medical exemption.

All evidence above must include, or be accompanied by a document confirming the individuals name as stated in the evidence provided and photographic ID, to confirm the individual’s identity.

The Covid Status/Passport requirements as of 29th November 2021 are summarised below.

 Relevant Premises and Events include ;

  • Events with over 10000 (all figures are simultaneous and include staff/performers/attendees)
  • Indoor Events with 500+
  • Outdoor Events with 4000+ where not all attendees are seated
  • Theatres
  • Concert halls
  • Cinemas
  • Indoor premises when used for the purposes of a performance, recording or rehearsal other than private dwellings
  • Premises used for the purposes of a conference or exhibition
  • Premises hosting a relevant event (other than exempt events as below)

 Exempt events include ;

  • A funeral ,marriage ceremony, civil partnership registration or reception or gathering relating to said events (other than where such gatherings are held in premises where intoxicating liquor may be consumed)

 Exempt premises include ;

  • Ports and Airports
  • Cross-border intercity rail service between Dublin and Belfast
  • A place of Worship during a service
  • Educational establishments other than where intoxicating liquor may be consumed

Exempt persons include ;

  • A resident in tourist accommodation, except when in an area open to the public, where intoxicating liquor may be consumed
  • under 18s,
  • People employed at the premises/event,
  • People providing services when the premises is empty
  • People carrying out a public service function or essential repairs/maintenance
  • Relevant officers and emergency service responders

It is hoped that this information will help you to comply with the current restrictions (or in the case of non-licensed premises, proposed restrictions).

Further information may be found on the Department of Health Website or NI Business Info 

Tourism NI guidance on the new restrictions is also attached and requests for further advice may be directed to