Face coverings are to be made mandarory for select indoor settings from Monday coming 10 August.

The Stormont Executive announced the move today in a press release.

The statement explained "We have a collective duty and a personal responsibility to protect each other, and everyone who can wear a face covering should do so. It should not be viewed as an optional extra; it is a vital defence in our ongoing battle against Covid-19.

"Face coverings should be worn in shops and other enclosed spaces and no one should delay adopting this crucial measure. It will help to protect you and others."

Most people carrying the virus don’t know they have it and can infect others unintentionally. Wearing a face covering can help to prevent this from happening.

The statement added "As well as wearing a face covering, everyone should continue to practise social distancing, wash your hands well and often, have good respiratory hygiene and avoid touching your face. We also urge as many people as possible to download the StopCOVID NI app."


There are circumstances where it is not possible to wear a face covering, for example, where you are eating or drinking in a restaurant, pub or café, or where you are exercising in a gym. In these circumstances it is acceptable not to use a face covering, but you should replace it as soon as practicable afterwards and maintain social distancing of at least 2 meters if you are in an enclosed space undertaking physical exercise.

Some circumstances make it difficult for some people to wear face coverings, for example:

  • physical illness
  • where it is distressing for someone to cover their face
  • where someone is accompanying a person who relies on lip reading to communicate
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