Northern Ireland: COVID-19 advice for musicians Jump to main content

Northern Ireland: COVID-19 advice for musicians

This page is regularly updated to cover the latest information coming from the Northern Irish Executive that affects musicians working in Northern Ireland. You can see our other pages on England, Scotland and Wales.

Key dates for the music sector

On 6 September 2021, the Executive announced some further minor changes to restrictions taking effect from 5pm on 10 September 2021.

The following may affect musicians' work:

From 12 April 2021:

  • All remaining students in years 8 to 11 return to face-to-face teaching in school.
  • 'Stay at home' will be replaced by 'stay local' and 'work from home.'
  • The number of people permitted to attend marriages, civil partnerships and funerals increases but is informed by a risk assessment for the venue.

From 30 April 2021: Self-contained tourist accommodation for one household only permitted to reopen.

From 24 May 2021: Mixing of households indoors.

From 5 July 2021:

All gatherings, indoors and outdoors (not including domestic settings) will be subject to a risk assessment if they have more than 15 participants for indoors, or more than 30 participants for outdoors.

Music will be permitted at outdoor events with no restriction on volume, but must be effectively controlled and managed.

Live music will be permitted at licensed and unlicensed hospitality businesses but at ambient levels that permit normal conversation and with suitable mitigations in place.

From 27 July 2021:

Audiences will be able to return to seated theatres and concert halls and some other seated venues with certain restrictions.

The volume of live music will no longer be limited in concert venues, theatres and other indoor venues.


From 30 July 2021:
Live music will be permitted in indoor venues such as function rooms of hotels, or community halls with certain restrictions.

From Monday 16 August:

There will be new self-isolation rules for children under the age of 18 and fully vaccinated people. Please refer to the Executive's press release for important, detailed information.

The restriction on the number of people who can gather outdoors at a domestic setting will be removed.

There will a full return to extra-curricular activities in schools and colleges but please see below for important information.

From 5pm on 10 September:

The current restriction on music to background or ambient levels where that restriction currently applies will be removed.

For live events indoors, including concerts, the requirements for tickets to be purchased in advance and allocated seating will be removed. However, customers must still be seated and the requirement to record contact details for all attendees will continue.

We will continue to monitor any changes and update members accordingly.

Last updated: 8 September 2021

Private teaching

Face-to-face music lessons and private tutoring are permitted but please see below for further detail.

Last updated: 2 June 2021

Performances and rehearsals

From 5 July, live music will be permitted at outdoor events and in licensed and unlicensed hospitality premises. Please see below for further detail.

From 30 July 2021, the volume of live music will no longer be limited in concert venues, theatres and other indoor venues. Also, audiences will be able to return to seated theatres and concert halls and other such venues.

From 5pm on 10 September 2021, where previously applicable, restrictions on background or ambient levels will be removed.

Further down the page there are separate sections about performing at weddings and amateur music.

Last updated: 10 September 2021

Schools and colleges

All indoor and outdoor extra-curricular activities are permitted to resume in schools, but with mitigating measures continuing as before.

Please see below for some important information about which restrictions will remain in place or vary.

Last updated: 19 August 2021

Amateur choirs and groups

From 24 May 2021, our understanding is that indoor rehearsals can resume indoors under certain circumstances, but not in private homes. Please read below for further information.

Last updated: 25 August 2021

Music in worship

Places of worship are permitted to open in line with relevant guidance but numbers attending must be determined by a risk assessment. Please see below for further information.

Last updated: 27 July 2021

Weddings and funerals

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are permitted both indoors and outdoors.

Numbers permitted are determined by the venue's risk assessment.

Details about singing at weddings can be found below.

Last updated: 25 August 2021

Get the support you need as a music professional

'I want to say a personal thank you as you work to support all musicians during this unprecedented time. I have been impressed with the speed of response to inform and help the profession, as well as your letters to and lobbying of the government on our behalf.'

ISM member since 1999