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 15 April 2021, the Executive confirmed that further restrictions will be lifted in Northern Ireland from 23 April 2021. The next formal review will take place on 13 May 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.
  • The number of people permitted to meet outdoors in a garden increases to ten people from two households (including children).
  • '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 23 April 2021:

  • Static band practice/rehearsal will be permitted in agreed outdoor locations.


    From 30 April 2021:

  • Up to 15 people from no more than three households permitted to meet in private gardens.
  • Self-contained tourist accommodation for one household only permitted to reopen.

  • From 24 May 2021 (to be confirmed):

  • Mixing of households indoors.
  • Resumption of post ceremony receptions or functions (numbers to be informed by a risk assessment for the venue). This will be subject to review.
  • We will continue to monitor any changes and update members accordingly.

    Last updated: 6 May 2021

    Private teaching

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

    Performances and rehearsals

    Theatres and concert halls are permitted to open for rehearsals or a live recording without an audience.

    Note that information for weddings is further down the page in a separate section.

    Schools and colleges

    Schools and colleges reopened for all pupils from 12 April 2021.

    Last updated: 29 April 2021

    Amateur choirs and groups

    From 23 April 2021, static band practice/rehearsal permitted in agreed outdoor locations.

    Last updated: 6 May 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: 6 May 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.

    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