Youth Restart

Youth Restart

The Minister for Education, Peter Weir has provided additional easements for the delivery of youth services. Outlined below is the current stage youth services can operate within. This stage should be delivered in line with the mitigations outlined in the Youth Restart Guidance Pack.

Current Stage

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Current Restart Guidance

Frequently Asked Questions - Youth Restart


No – at present, this guidance is only for day visits.  There are no overnights at this stage of youth restart.

No. The guidance is for education visits within Northern Ireland only.

Indoors, groups are limited to 25 people, outside there is no restriction on numbers permitted social distancing can be maintained if using shared or public transport.

In line with guidance and mitigating actions, these activities can take place with precaution.  If connecting with another youth group or centre you may only do this with 1 other group per day.  For example; you may not play a football match with 1 group in the afternoon and a different group in the evening.

Yes, food and drink is now permitted within youth settings and on education visits but not shared between participants.

Masks must be worn on transport to and from the location. Masks also must be worn when indoors.


Yes.  There is no limit on the number of attendees at staff meetings and training session whilst still maintaining social distancing guidelines and the use of face masks indoors.

FAQ’s for Generic Youth Work

Face masks are mandatory unless medically exempt. When interacting outdoors it is compulsory for children and young people and staff to wear face coverings at drop-off and pick-up points outside. When participating in activities outside face coverings must be worn when the two meter distancing rule cannot be upheld.

Staff may only accommodate 75% of the building capacity (this excludes outdoors).  For example if a building accommodates 80 people at full capacity then you may permit 60 people indoors at any time. 

Staff may permit a number of groups in different rooms of the building with a maximum of 25 young people (not including staff) per group of which the total number of young people does not exceed 75% capacity of the building.  Access routes which provide entry into the immediate group space should be used by the group where entrances exist to avoid group contact.

There is no limit on the number of children and young people engaging using outdoor spaces. Where the two metre social distancing rule cannot be maintained, face coverings must be worn unless medically exempt.

Food and refreshments can now be provided as part of your youth work programme.  Food and refreshments should not be shared between participants.

Personal and group hygiene is paramount. Hand sanitiser should be made placed in each meeting room and communal area within the building. Those within a building should wash their hands frequently and often. Recommended at least every 30 minutes.

FAQ’s for Targeted Youth Work

When delivering targeted youth work, the group cannot exceed 15 children or young people.  Targeted group work if delivered within a youth centre or provision where they is also generic youth work being delivered, in total must not exceed 75% of the building capacity.  These numbers do not include staff.

FAQ’s for Detached Youth Work

Following the announcement on 25th March 2021, the NI executive agreed that detached and outreach youth work could commence with immediate effect. Groups funded by the EA youth service for the delivery of detached and outreach work can now commence with their agreed programmes and interventions.

The Education Authority will lead and coordinate agile and bespoke interventions based on assessed need and risk associated with children and young people. The EA Youth service will invite funded youth providers as appropriate to be part of this response. It is up to the voluntary sector management committee to determine whether or not the youth organisation should be part of this programme. i.e. it is not mandatory. All voluntary sector groups who ought to be part of agile bespoke interventions will need to complete associated training to be part of this programme.

Resources Library

Provided below are various documents which have detailed guidance, support and resources to enable you to support staff, children and young people on their return to youth services.

As you are aware restrictions imposed by Covid-19 can change and we will endeavour to update these documents in line with any updated guidance from the NI Executive or PHA.

We are now in Step 3 (Phase 2) of Youth Restart