Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Health and social care arrangements over Easter

Posted by
Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

As the lockdown continues and more people spend time in their homes and gardens, the health and social care system is calling on people to be careful when carrying out DIY and gardening activities and for parents to keep an eye on their children when playing on trampolines or other play equipment.

This will help reduce the number of people getting injured and requiring urgent medical treatment at a time when hospital resources and staff have to treat patients during the coronavirus pandemic.



Some key advice:

1)    When using gardening equipment, use goggles to protect your eyes

2)    Avoid risky DIY projects using power tools and saws

3)    Be very careful when using lawn mowers and strimmers, keep your hands away from moving blades and parts.

4)    Make sure you use all recommended protective gear and are familiar with the equipment before using it

5)    Supervise children while on trampolines and outdoor play equipment

If you are worried about COVID-19 (Coronavirus), follow the latest guidance from the Public Health Agency.

Health and social care services over Easter

This Easter, there will be some changes to GP and community pharmacy opening hours to support an expected increase in demand on hospital services during the pandemic.

If you have a mild or minor illness, you can find information about a range of common illnesses using the online symptom search.

Remember, most of these can be treated with over the counter medicines and plenty of rest and whether treated or not, most of these will get better.




-GP surgeries will provide an urgent care service to patients by phone on Easter Monday (13 April) and Easter Tuesday (14 April).

-GP Out of Hours will be available from 6pm on Good Friday (10 April), over the Easter weekend until 830am on Easter Monday 13 April.

-GP Out of Hours will be available from 6pm to 8am on Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday.

-The GP-led COVID Centres, which are already seeing patients, will continue to operate during the entire Easter bank holiday period. Patients have to be referred to these centres by their GPs.

Community Pharmacies

To cope with the increased demand for pharmacy services, a number of community pharmacies will be open for half days on Easter Monday and Tuesday. 

Please check the community pharmacy rota and click on each town to check details of pharmacies which are open.



Dental Practices

Dental practices are particularly impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as most dental procedures are aerosol-generating, which means they release airborne particles which can result in the spread of infection.

All dental practices have been told to stop providing these procedures during the pandemic.

If you experience a dental problem, please call your dentist first and you will be assessed over the phone, given advice or a prescription or referred to an Urgent Dental Care clinic.

Optometry practices (Opticians)

If you have any concerns about your eyes, including an urgent eye problem, or a query about your glasses or contact lenses, please telephone your local optometry practice.



Minor Injuries Unit

A minor injuries unit can treat injuries that are not critical or life-threatening, such as injuries to upper and lower limbs, broken bones, sprains, bruises and wounds, burns and scalds, bites, cuts and wounds and eye injuries.

Further details about the service including locations and opening hours can be found on the nidirect website.

Out of hours Emergency Social Work Service

If you have a social care emergency that cannot wait until the next working day, please call the Regional Emergency Social Work Service 028 9504 9999.



You should always call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

If you or someone you know is in distress or despair call Lifeline on 0800 808 8000.


Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE


Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed


This website does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 16/01/2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Newry Times by emailing

Log in