Update on resumption of youth services April 8th 2021

Update on resumption of youth services April 8th 2021

Update on resumption of youth services. April 8th 2021

Date published: 08 April 2021

Education Minister Peter Weir has confirmed the further reopening of some youth services in response to the recent unrest on our streets.

Update on resumption of youth services

This will apply to those youth services which operate in areas of heightened community tensions.

Peter Weir said: “Youth services play a vital role in supporting young people throughout Northern Ireland.

 “As a society we should all be appalled at witnessing young people and even children being involved in the recent violence on our streets.

“At this time it is even more important that youth services are able to meet the needs of young people in these areas.”

It has been agreed that all youth centres and provisions which operate in areas where there is heightened community tensions can maximise the use of their facilities and services with immediate effect.

This includes the provision of educational visits and residential provision (overnight stays) when there is significant risk of harm or criminalisation of children and young people.

The Minister said: “These measures are intended to safeguard and ensure the welfare of our young people and to divert them from becoming involved in risk taking and dangerous behaviours.

“I want to commend the Education Authority’s Youth Service and all youth workers for their commitment to helping our young people in these very difficult times.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Guidance for youth settings is available at: www.youthonline.org.uk/restart(external link opens in a new window / tab))
  2. All youth centres and provisions (statutory and voluntary funded through Local Area/Project Based Funding; TPP funding) who operate in areas where there is heightened community tensions can maximise the use of their facilities and services with immediate effect to meet the needs of local children and young people·        
  3. An online form will be available from Friday 9 April 2021 on www.eanifunding.org.uk(external link opens in a new window / tab) to approve education visits including overnight stays for the statutory and voluntary sector providers funded under local area, local project and TPP funding.
  4. Planning should commence for all generic provision for the summer period (July/August); however further steps of approval will be necessary to move to the next phase.
  5. Planning for the summer (July/august) for areas where there are heightened community tensions can progress with approval from EA to ensure the welfare and child safeguarding of children and young people to divert them from risk taking behaviours 
  6. For areas NOT impacted by heightened community tensions; regulations remain the same.

You should not travel in or out of Northern Ireland except where it is essential to do so

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You should not travel in or out of Northern Ireland except where it is essential to do so.

If you are arriving into Northern Ireland from within the Common Travel Area (the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) and you plan to remain here for at least 24 hours, you must self-isolate upon arrival for 10 days in the same way as international arrivals. 

If you are arriving into Northern Ireland from within the Common Travel Area to provide health or social care, or to provide an emergency service, you are not subject to these requirements. However you should consult with your employer before travelling or attending work, who will then advise you on the best course of action.

Further guidance is available here.

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Following an increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, additional restrictions have been introduced for people living in Northern Ireland. These are aimed at limiting the chances for the virus to spread between households.

You should not allow people you do not live with into your home, except for  for bubbling with one other household and certain other exemptions.

Everyone can also help stop COVID-19 spreading by:

  • Avoiding touching your face and washing your hands as soon as you get home.
  • If you go outside stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people.
  • Wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible.

Remember, you can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

A covid-19 symptom checker is available here.

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COVID-19 vaccination programme in Northern Ireland

COVID-19 vaccination programme in Northern Ireland

COVID-19 vaccination programme in Northern Ireland

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines have been approved for use in the UK and are available in Northern Ireland.

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Groups to be offered the vaccine first

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), an independent expert group, has recommended that this vaccine is offered first to those at highest risk of catching the virus and of suffering serious complications if they are infected.

This includes:

  • frontline health and social care workers
  • care home residents and staff
  • and those with certain clinical conditions

When more vaccine becomes available, the vaccines will be offered to other people at risk as soon as possible.

Vaccine safety and effectiveness

The vaccine has met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.

While the vaccine may help protect you from coronavirus, it’s still important to follow social distancing and other public health guidance, as well as complying with any restrictions to keep each other safe.

COVID-19 vaccination programme plan

The Department of Health has published a vaccination phased plan document on their website, outlining when different groups can expect to get the vaccine and how it will be deployed:

Further information about the vaccine

The Public Health Agency has developed a frequently asked questions section, including leaflets, about the vaccine on its website:

COVID-19 vaccination programme in Northern Ireland