The Executive has confirmed the position in relation to the regulations in advance of the re-opening of outdoor hospitality tomorrow.
There has been no change to the definition of indoor and outdoor areas which applied last year.
The definition of ‘enclosed’ and ‘substantially enclosed’ comes from the smoke-free legislation from 2007 and is directly referenced in the regulations. This was the same definition that was in place last July. The position remains that the general rule of thumb is that outdoor premises should not be more than 50% enclosed.
The definition from the smoke-free legislation was used on the basis that it was a good comparator in terms of the aim to ensure adequate ventilation and was well understood by the hospitality sector and by district councils. The same definition is also used in England, Scotland and Wales.
Covid-19 is still circulating in the community and tomorrow’s relaxation has a focus on the outdoors, as we seek to move forward in small steps.
Officials in the relevant departments have engaged extensively with different sectors in advance of tomorrow’s relaxations and further engagement is planned to explain the position and try to ensure consistency of approach and for councils to work with businesses to allow them to operate in line with the regulations.