Councillors of Belfast City Council have tonight agreed at a special meeting of council, to a number of measures to help ‘manage operational and cleaning resources’ across Council facilities in response to COVID-19. These include the closure of City Hall, Belfast Zoo and St Georges Market.
The councillors have agreed to a phased response to ‘help the organisation manage the public health issue across Council facilities’.
One of the first measures will be to temporarily suspend public tours of City Hall with immediate effect including the closure of the building’s exhibition. City Hall will also cancel any further functions and events until further notice.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast City Council Danny Baker spoke following the meeting saying:
“As leaders of the city, we have a civic responsibility to do what we feel is right for our residents and ratepayers.
“We are aware of public health advice and do not wish to either cause alarm or act against advice. However, we have agreed to take a number of steps in respect of our services and buildings so that we can reduce risks, and our focus remains on resources and cleaning regimes across our considerable estate.
“Council is continuing to follow public health advice. Our officers continue to work on our emergency preparedness and business continuity planning to ensure delivery of services during this public health issue.
“As Elected Members it is important that we do all we can to support the most vulnerable in the community, and we will be liaising with central government to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are protected.”
All Council services/facilities will continue to operate as normal – subject to review – with the exception of those listed below:
• City Hall will be closed for tours and exhibitions with immediate effect, however the registering of births, deaths and marriages will continue. Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will be facilitated. All other functions/events in City Hall will be cancelled until further notice.
• From Monday 16 March Malone House and Belfast Castle will be closed to the public. Functions already booked at these venues can continue.
• Tropical Ravine and Palm House closed until further notice.
• Belfast Zoo will be closed to the public until further notice.
• Pitches and pavilions will be closed with immediate effect until further notice.
• Community centres and parks will remain open at this time, however this will be kept under review.
• Recycling Centres will remain open.
• Belfast City Council organised events are being monitored on an individual basis and are being kept under daily review.
• Leisure Centres will remain open but this will also be kept under daily review.
• St Georges Market and Smithfield Market will remain open at this time.
There will also be regular updates for residents on the Council’s website www.belfastcity.gov.uk and social media channels.