A COVID Status Certification scheme has been introduced by the NI Executive.
This means that there is now a requirement to show proof of COVID-status Certification to gain entry into certain settings.
Where does the certification scheme apply?
The scheme applies to hospitality premises where intoxicating liquor is served and where bring your own (BYO) alcohol is permitted, as well as in certain other 'relevant' premises and venues.
If you are a hospitality premises that does not serve or permit alcohol to be served on your premises then the new requirements do not apply to you at present.
Other relevant premises and events which must comply with the Regulations include:
Events with over 10,000 people (all figures are simultaneous and include staff, performers and attendees)
Indoor events with 500 or more people
Outdoor events with 4000 or more people, where not all attendees are seated
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.
Evidencing Covid Status
A person may evidence their Covid status with:
Certification of a course of doses of an authorised vaccination (in paper or electronic form), with proof that the final dose was received at least 14 days prior to the relevant time (time of entering event or entering premises).
Certification of a negative COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test, or a negative result of an on-site Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test, within the day of, or day before the 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 the time of entry.
Written confirmation of participation (from the organiser of that trial) in a clinical coronavirus vaccination trial, or
Evidence provided using NI Covid Certification process, or an equivalent process if not a resident of Northern Ireland for medical exemption.
Written Statement Describing System
Anyone responsible for a system which checks the Covid status of those on their premises, must now keep a written statement describing the system. The statement must be retained whilst the regulations are in force and for a further period of 3 months. The statement must be produced to a PSNI or Council officer upon request.
Although certification is legally required for entry into the selected settings from Monday 29 November 2021, enforcement will take place from Monday 13 December.
The PSNI is the lead enforcement agency for COVID controls in licensed premises.
We, through our Environmental Health Service, have responsibility for the remaining premises which are included in the new regulations i.e. cinemas, concert halls and theatres.
The Council's Environmental Health Service is continuing to work to support our local businesses with the introduction of the new requirements and in seeking their compliance, in accordance with Council policies.
Further Information And Advice
There is a Covid Cert Check NI Mobile App which includes a user guide and guidance for venues and event organisers including information on handling personal data
There are FAQs on COVID Status Certification.
Guidance has also been produced to accompany the Regulations.
Contact our Environmental Health Service for advice or to request a template for a written statement describing your system for certification checks on 03000 132 132 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org