Covid-19 / Coronavirus Information

Business Restrictions and Closures

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

These Regulations were made on the 28 March 2020 by the Department of Health in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Northern Ireland.

These Regulations support the public health response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Among other requirements, they require the closure of certain businesses and impose restrictions on the conduct of other business.

To this effect councils have been designated to enforce the provisions of regulation 3 and 4 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 which relate to business restrictions and closures during the emergency period.

Further information on business restrictions including examples of businesses that can and cannot operate can be found here:

* Please note that the regulations are subject to periodic review by the Northern Ireland Executive and therefore, you should check the latest published information and guidance.

Complaints or concerns about a business operating

If you have a concern regarding a business being open we would ask that you consult the information contained in the links above in the first instance. 

If you believe that there is a breach regarding a business being open and you wish to make a complaint, please contact the Business Support and Improvement Team via: mea.envhealth@midandeastantrim.gov.uk.

We will consider your complaint to determine whether there may have been a breach of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020. In doing so we will seek to prioritise those reports in which there is an on-going or where there is likely to be a repeated breach of the Regulations.

Please provide the following information with your complaint:

  • Your name, address and contact telephone number (so that we can contact you to clarify information if we need to and update you in relation to your complaint);
  • The trading name and business address of the business that you wish to register a complaint about, including any contact details that you may have for that business;
  • The specific reasons why you believe that the business should not be open and why you believe that this is a breach of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020.  Please be a specific as possible, include dates and time and provide any further information or evidence that you may have.

If the complaint has been substantiated, council officers will seek to secure compliance through the provision of advice and support. Should a business operator fail to comply with that advice, enforcement or other action may be taken.

Please note that councils do not enforce the requirements in the regulations with respect to licensed premises or with restrictions on the movement of individuals and gatherings of persons, this is the responsibility of the PSNI. 

Further information is available on the PSNI website.

Complaints about Social Distancing or Health and Safety in Businesses Not Subject to Restrictions or Closures

If your complaint relates to concerns about social distancing or health and safety in businesses not subject to restrictions and closures, please contact the Business Support and Improvement Team via: mea.envhealth@midandeastantrim.gov.uk.

Please provide the following information with your complaint:

  • Your name, address and contact telephone number (so that we can contact you to clarify information if we need to and update you in relation to your complaint);
  • The trading name and business address of the business that you wish to register a complaint about, including any contact details that you may have for that business;
  • The specific reasons why you believe that the business is contravening health and safety/social distancing requirements. Please be as specific as possible, include dates and time and provide any further information or evidence that you may have.

Please note that HSENI are the enforcing authority for certain types of workplaces and we may therefore, need to refer your complaint on to them for consideration.   

You can view the division of responsibilities for council inspectors and HSENI on our Healthy and Safety page.

In addition, the PSNI enforce any requirements regarding people failing to maintain social distancing in a public place and will consider whether it may be a gathering. 

Further information is available on the PSNI website

Covid-19 Information and Health guidance