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Travelling in Northern Ireland

Travelling in Northern Ireland

Current restrictions in Northern Ireland means that no unnecessary travel is allowed. These restrictions are expected to stay in place until at least 12th April 2021, but they will be subject to review after Easter 2021 .

There is guidance to help you understand how to travel safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Northern Ireland as restrictions ease.

The stay at home order than came into force in January 2021 will be relaxed, but a “stay local” message will remain in effect.

This includes when using public transport, walking, cycling and travelling by car.:

•Safer travel guidance for public transport users, walkers, cyclists, drivers

Public transport

Public transport will still operate for essential purposes, but will have a reduced service.

Since 10 July passengers aged 13 and over travelling on public transport in Northern Ireland have been required to wear a face covering, unless they have a reasonable excuse.

Face coverings are also required in public transport stations.


Taxis can operate for essential purposes. Face coverings must be worn by passengers. The driver must also wear a face covering unless there is a screen between them and their passenger.

On your journey

The number of passengers buses or trains can carry will be fewer than normal due to social distancing.

Some services may be at capacity and unable to pick up further passengers particularly at busier periods. This may affect your journey and you should be prepared to wait for the next service.

When travelling, keep a two-meter distance from people outside your household at all times.

There may be situations where this is difficult, for example:

  • when getting on or off transport
  • on busier services
  • at busier times of day
  • when walking through stations

In these cases, you must:

  • wear a face covering to protect others, unless you are exempt from the law and/ or have a reasonable excuse 
  • avoid physical contact
  • try to face away from other people
  • keep the time you spend near others as short as possible

When travelling you should also:

  • treat transport staff with respect and follow instructions from your transport operator, including notices in stations about which seats to use or how to queue – they are trying to keep everyone safe
  • wash or sanitise your hands before and after you travel, as well as after you touch frequently-used surfaces like door controls and handrails (new public sanitation units are in stations for your convenience or carry your own hand sanitiser)
  • be prepared to queue or take a different entrance or exit at stations
  • wait for passengers to get off first before you board making sure to allow room for social distancing
  • respect other people’s space while travelling
  • avoid consuming food and drink on public transport, where possible
  • be considerate of pregnant women, older people, people with disabilities, or those travelling with children, who may require a seat or extra space including the use of priority seating and the priority space for wheelchair users on buses and trains
  • be aware and considerate of some individuals who may have hidden disabilities and may not be able to follow some of the rules, like social distancing or wearing a face covering

Some transport providers (such as ferry operators) may have additional advice in relation to social distancing or health and safety – you must follow this advice at all times.

Cross-border travel

Translink has reduced its cross-border coach and Enterprise rail services. You can get the latest information by checking Translink’s journey planner(external link opens in a new window / tab) on the day you wish to travel or by phoning 028 9066 6630.

You can find the Irish government’s latest public health advice at this link:

For information on international travel, click here.

Categories: General Information
Updated: 4 weeks ago Posted: October 28, 2020 9:04 am Share: