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Northern Ireland updates on Covid-19 information for people with diabetes

Updated 14 October, 2021

This page is specifically about guidance for people affected by diabetes in Northern Ireland. We'll continue to share relevant information provided by the Northern Ireland Executive.

As coronavirus restrictions ease, it's still important that everyone, particularly people living with diabetes, limits their social contact, keeps a social distance when possible, wears a face covering in enclosed spaces if they can, and washes their hands regularly. We also encourage everyone to receive their vaccinations, if eligible. 

In Northern Ireland:

  • Face coverings are still mandatory in public indoor settings, including on public transport, hospitality venues, and shops.
  • People are being advised to work from home if possible
  • Private indoor gatherings are restricted to up to 30 people. There are no restrictions on outdoor domestic gatherings
  • The legal requirement for social distancing outdoors and in certain indoor locations (such as shops, cinemas and theatres) has been removed, but remains strongly advised.
  • People who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days if they've been in close contact with a person who tests positive for coronavirus. Instead, they should get a PCR test on day two and day eight of the 10-day period. Those not fully vaccinated will still need to self-isolate for the 10 days.

Restrictions are easing, and during this period:

  • All school pupils can attend school and childcare remains open
  • Activities in gyms and swimming pools can operate with social distancing, where possible
  • All retail and service industries can operate
  • Most licensed and unlicensed premises can operate. Contact details must be recorded for coronavirus tracking purposes and premises. Nightclubs will reopen on 31 October.
  • Hotels, B&Bs, visitor attractions (such as cinemas, theatres and museums) and other travel and tourism venues can operate
  • Wedding and civil partnership receptions are permitted, with restrictions.

To see the current restrictions in full, please visit the NI Direct website.

Vaccines

Everyone aged 16 and over in Northern Ireland, including people aged 16 and over with diabetes, is eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. Those who haven't received their first dose yet can do so at a participating community pharmacy

Roll-out to young people aged 12-15 is expected to begin in November, in schools. It is understood consent forms will be sent to parents of eligible children from mid-October onwards. Children under 12 are not currently included in the vaccination programme, except for in very exceptional circumstances.

Booster vaccines and flu vaccines

Booster vaccines, or third doses, will shortly be offered to all adults over 50 years old and all those aged 16-49 with underlying health conditions, and this will include people with diabetes. The booster programme began in September with residents in care homes only at this stage. Further roll-out will be on a phased basis, and the booster should be given a minimum of six months after the second dose. Once the programme commences, people can book an appointment online or telephone 0300 200 7813. People can currently use the same booking system to receive their annual flu vaccine.

We've got more information about the coronavirus vaccines, including how they work. Plus, you can find out more details about the vaccination programme, including boosters, in Northern Ireland.

Shielding

From 12 April anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) and can't work from home has been advised to return to their workplace, providing the appropriate coronavirus safety measures are in place.

Find out more about the advice for CEV people on the NI Direct website.

Looking after yourself during the pandemic

We have lots of information to help you look after yourself in our guide to diabetes. If you're feeling overwhelmed or stressed, you're not alone.

We've got lots of guidance on how to cope with certain emotions and how things like stress can affect your blood sugar levels. Our Learning Zone will help you get to grips with diabetes, both physically and mentally.

And whether you'd prefer to chat to others on our online forum or give one of our helpline team a call, we're here to support you. You can always contact us directly here in Northern Ireland too. The team is working from home but we can still be reached on n.ireland@diabetes.org.uk.

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