Northern Ireland Covid-19 Timeline

This is a timeline about events in the Covid-19 pandemic which may have impacted people who are vulnerable to, or already experiencing, a forced marriage in the UK. It includes key restrictions on relevant activity, such as holding weddings or on households mixing, and traveling (within, and outside, the four nations of the UK). We also recorded other restrictions, such as school-closures and “stay at home” orders, which may have made it harder for those at risk to access help and support, or for those with safeguarding responsibilities to spot signs of risk. For context, we have also included some other information, for instance about case rates. Thus, this is not a comprehensive list of all relevant, Covid-related events or restrictions. It does not include everything we found which might be relevant for forced marriage risk, just what seemed most important for inclusion on a useable and informative timeline. This said, we hope it gives a sense of the potential impact of Covid-19 on people already experiencing, or at risk of, a forced marriage. It may also be useful to other researchers and people interested in the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK, as the restrictions and events recorded impacted the whole community. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Authors:;xNLx;;xNLx;Dr Naomi Lott;xNLx;Fiona Collins-Taylor;xNLx;Hannah Coggins;xNLx;Dr Rumana Hashem;xNLx;Dr Helen McCabe

2020-02-27 00:00:00

Number of UK patients hits 16 as Northern Ireland confirms first case

First reported cases in Northern Ireland.

2020-03-08 00:00:00

Cases rise

Northern Ireland cases over 10, with total at 12.

2020-03-18 00:00:00

Northern Ireland records first death

First death in Northern Ireland recorded.

2020-03-18 00:00:00

Schools, colleges and early years settings to close

Welsh Minister for Education, Scotland’s First Minister, and UK Prime Minister all announce schools will close at the end of Friday 20 March. Northern Ireland’s First and Deputy First Ministers announce schools in the country will close that very day to pupils, and from 23 March to staff. Nurseries; primary and secondary schools; and Further Education colleges all close for in-person teaching or care, except for the children of key workers and child considered vulnerable. Guidance from the Department for Education states that “vulnerable children and young people” include those who are assessed as being “in need” under section 17 of the Children Act 1989 including those with a child protection plan. “Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home with appropriate care”.

2020-03-18 00:00:00

UK schools, colleges and nurseries to close from Mar 23

Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Ministers announce schools in the country will close that very day to pupils, and from 23 March to staff.

2020-03-19 00:00:00

Cases surpass 100

Northern Ireland reach over 100 cases, with total at 101.

2020-03-23 00:00:00


Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also went into ‘lockdown’.

2020-03-24 00:00:00

Northern Ireland deaths rise

Northern Ireland exceed 10 deaths, with total at 11.

2020-03-28 00:00:00

Lockdown regulations

Lockdown regulations entered into force.

2020-04-03 00:00:00

Rising cases

Northern Ireland reach over 1000 cases, with total at 1079.

2020-04-08 00:00:00

Northern Ireland deaths surpass 100

Northern Ireland exceed 100 deaths, totalling 103.

2020-06-05 03:54:53

Northern Ireland allow 10 people outdoor gatherings

In Northern Ireland, outdoor weddings with 10 people allowed.

2020-06-23 00:00:00

Northern Ireland update indoor restrictions

Up to Six people can meet indoors in Northern Ireland.

2020-06-28 00:00:00

Northern Ireland allow places of worship to open

Places of worship are allowed to open for services in Northern Ireland.

2020-07-10 00:00:00

Northern Ireland update gathering rules

In Northern Ireland, indoor weddings and baptisms resume in places of worship and local government offices (they are not limited in terms of numbers but should be socially distanced); 30 people are allowed to attend an outdoor wedding.

2020-08-20 00:00:00

Northern Ireland tighten restrictions

In Northern Ireland, tightening of restrictions: indoor gatherings reduced, from 10 people of up to four households, to 6 people from no more than two households. Outdoor gatherings reduced from 30 people to 15; certain events, weddings, church services and sporting events will be allowed more than 15 people.

2020-09-23 00:00:00

New Northern Ireland restrictions

New Northern Ireland restrictions: households prevented from mixing indoors; 6 people from no more than two households can meet in a private garden.

2020-09-24 00:00:00

Cases pass 10,000

Northern Ireland reach over 10,000 cases, with total at 10,109.

2020-10-19 00:00:00

Northern Ireland household restrictions

In Northern Ireland, individuals cannot stay at another person's house without a reasonable excuse, unless they are in a linked household. People cannot meet inside a private dwelling; two households can meet outside; all indoor venues close; weddings and funerals allowed no more than 25 people; places of worship still open.

2020-10-19 00:00:00

Schools close in Northern Ireland

Schools close in Northern Ireland

2020-11-27 00:00:00

Northern Ireland 2-week circuit breaker

Two week circuit breaker imposed in Northern Ireland; close contact services closed; Schools stay open.

2020-12-26 00:00:00

Northern Ireland lockdown

Northern Ireland goes into lockdown; Worship still allowed but must wear face covering; all hospitality must close; wedding ceremonies still allowed.

2021-01-07 00:00:00

New school rules for Northern Ireland

New rules for schools in Northern Ireland: all mainstream school providers are required to provide remote learning. Special schools remain open. Vulnerable children and children of key workers are allowed to go to school. It was planned fo these rules to stay in place until after the half term break in the middle of February.

2021-01-07 00:00:00

Stay at Home becomes law in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, "Stay at home" order becomes law; no more than 25 people at weddings; all hospitality closed.

2021-01-07 00:00:00

Northern Ireland suspend some public services

Major denominations in Northern Ireland suspend public services until February.

2021-01-21 00:00:00

Northern Ireland lockdown extended

In Northern Ireland, lockdown restrictions extended until 5 March; Schools remained closed for most pupils (apart from those who attend special schools or the children of essential workers and vulnerable children) until after February half term.

2021-01-28 00:00:00

Northern Ireland schools

Northern Ireland executive agrees that most school pupils will not return until 8 of March 2021.

2021-02-18 00:00:00

Northern Ireland lockdown extended

In Northern Ireland, lockdown restrictions will be extended until 1st of April 2020 with plans for schools to begin phased reopening on the 8th of March

2021-03-08 00:00:00

Young students to return in Northern Ireland

School children between the ages of four to seven return to school in Northern Ireland. On the 22 March 2020, they will return to remote learning to enable years 12-14 to return.

2021-03-22 00:00:00

Years 12-14 students return in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, Years 12-14 return to school before Easter holidays.

2021-04-12 00:00:00

'Stay at home' to Stay local' in Northern Ireland

Stay at home' changed to 'stay local' in Northern Ireland: All pupils children return to school. The limit on 25 people at marriages, civil partnerships and funerals lifted; it is up to individual venues to decide how many guests they can safely accommodate.

2021-05-24 00:00:00

Indoor hospitality open in Northern Ireland

Indoor hospitality opens in Northern Ireland; six people from two seperate households can meet indoors.

2021-07-02 00:00:00

Outdoor restrictions removed in Northern Ireland

Restrictions on outdoor events removed in Northern Ireland.

2021-07-27 00:00:00

Northern Ireland increase number for indoor gathering rules

In Northern Ireland, increase of number of people at indoor gatherings of up to 6 people from 3 households or 15 people from two households.

2021-09-10 00:00:00

Dancing permitted in marriage events

In Northern Ireland, dancing was permitted at a wedding reception or civil partnership reception.

Northern Ireland Covid-19 Timeline

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