Coronavirus: Localised Restrictions Support Scheme

News article

The Department of Finance manages the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme. Email all queries on this scheme to LocalisedRestrictions@finance-ni.gov.uk.

Invest NI email and helpline enquiry points can assist with queries on the following Department for the Economy schemes - Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part A, Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme: Part B, Newly Self-Employed Support Scheme and the Limited Company Director's Scheme.

The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme provides financial support to certain businesses which have been required to close or severely limit operations at their premises under the Health Protection Regulations that have been put in place by the NI Executive, subject to some exclusions. To apply for support from this scheme, applications had to be submitted before 6pm on 7 April 2021.

Localised Restrictions Support Scheme Applications
The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme closed to new applications at 6pm on Wednesday 7 April 2021. No new applications will be accepted after this deadline.

Further payments will continue to be issued automatically to eligible businesses already in receipt of LRSS in line with the continuing phases of the LRSS (see details of scheme phases below).

If you have already applied for support and you are waiting for the outcome of your application, or the outcome of a request for reconsideration in relation to an unsuccessful application, this will continue to be processed. Be assured that the Department of Finance is processing applications and reconsiderations as quickly as possible. Queries can still be sent to LocalisedRestrictions@finance-ni.gov.uk.

For information on other support available to businesses - follow updates on Coronavirus: £177 million in new grants to support Northern Ireland businesses.

Eligibility for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme is linked to the Health Protection Regulations. The Health Protection Regulations are published by the Department of Health. The Regulations are available in full – see the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (as amended). Guidance to accompany the regulations is available.

You can find further information on what the restrictions mean for you.

Only certain business that are affected by the Health Protection Regulations are eligible for financial support through the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme. Applications were processed in line with the following financial regulations: 

The table below provides a summary of the restrictions on businesses that are relevant to the current phase of this scheme. This has been provided for ease of understanding, and it does not replace or supersede the regulations referenced above.

Information on previous phases of the scheme is available in the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme Guidance (PDF, 952K).

Date Summary of restrictions on businesses that are relevant to the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme
26 December 2020 (Phase 5)

Certain businesses operating in any part of Northern Ireland including: 

  • Retail businesses that are not permitted to remain open (those retailers not defined as “essential” in the Health Regulations).
  • A bed and breakfast establishment, hotel, bunkhouse, hostel, guest accommodation, self-catering establishment or guest house.
  • Close contact services – hairdressing or barbering, provision of beauty or aesthetics treatments including treatments in relation to nails or makeup, tattooing, tanning, services in spas, sports and massage therapy*, well-being and holistic therapies, dress fitting, tailoring and fashion design (unless social distance is maintained), body piercing, electrolysis, training in close contact service, driving instruction for the test of competence to drive a vehicle other than a motorcycle established by Article 5 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981.
  • Outdoor visitor attractions including funfairs, inflatable parks, amusements arcades and skating rinks, but not including play areas, public parks, forest and country parks, and outdoor areas of stately and historic homes, outdoor areas of castles and outdoor areas of properties operated by the National Trust.
  • Indoor visitor attractions including bingo halls, museums, galleries and cinemas.
  • Campsites and caravan parks for touring caravans including motorhomes, except to provide facilities to a person in the event of an emergency.
  • Swimming and diving pools.
  • Indoor sports and exercise facilities including, soft play areas, leisure centres, gyms, equestrian centres, venues relating to motor sport and activity centres, except those limited activities permitted by the Department of Health.
  • Outdoor sports and exercise facilities including activity centres, equestrian centres, marinas and venues relating to motor sport and water sport, except as permitted by Regulation 5B (Sporting events).
  • Car washes except for the cleaning and disinfection of commercial vehicles for the purposes of food safety and controlling risks to human, animal or plant health.
  • Private libraries.
  • A business or a members’ club which sells or provides food or drink (including intoxicating liquor) for consumption on the premises.

Sports clubs are not eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme, however, they may wish to review the criteria for the Sports Sustainability Fund.

Phase 5: from 26 December 2020 to 5 February 2021, payment for 6 weeks:

•    Lower rate payment: £4,800
•    Standard rate payment: £7,200
•    Higher rate payment: £9,600

6 February 2021 (Phase 6)

Restrictions extended for a further 4 weeks, and an automatic top-up payment was issued. 

Phase 6: From 6 February to 5 March 2021, payment for 4 weeks:

  • Lower rate payment: £3,200
  • Standard rate payment: £4,800
  • Higher rate payment: £6,400
6 March 2021
(Phase 7)

Restrictions extended for a further 3 weeks and 5 days, and an automatic top-up payment was issued. 

Phase 7: From 6 March to 31 March 2021, payment for 3 weeks and 5 days:

  • Lower rate payment: £2,970
  • Standard rate payment: £4,455
  • Higher rate payment: £5,945
1 April 2021
(Phase 8)

Restrictions extended for a further 2 weeks, and an automatic top-up payment was issued. 

Phase 8: From 1 April to 14 April 2021, payment for 2 weeks:

  • Lower rate payment: £1,600
  • Standard rate payment: £2,400
  • Higher rate payment: £3,200 

15 April 2021
(Phase 9)

No Phase 9 payment
Businesses which were permitted to reopen on 12 April 2021 will not receive a Phase 9 payment. This includes: 

  • Garden centres.
  • Car washes.
  • New and used car retailers, retailers of caravans or motorhomes, retailers of light motor vehicles, lorries and trailers.

Payment for 15 to 22 April 2021
The following businesses will receive an automatic top-up payment from 15 April to 22 April: 

  • Close contact services in commercial premises such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, day spas, nail bars, tattoo parlours, sports and massage therapy, wellbeing and holistic therapies, tanning, dress fitting, tailoring and fashion design, electrolysis, body piercing and tutoring relating to close contact services.
  • Outdoor visitor attractions and outdoor activity centres. 

Phase 9 payment from 15 to 22 April, 1 week and 1 day: 

  • Lower rate: £914
  • Standard rate: £1,371
  • Higher rate: £1,829 

Payment for 15 to 29 April 2021
The following businesses will receive an automatic top-up payment from 15 April to 29 April: 

  • Retail businesses
  • Self-contained tourist accommodation

Phase 9 payment from 15 to 29 April, 2 weeks and 1 day: 

  • Lower rate: £1,714
  • Standard rate: £2,571
  • Higher rate: £3,429 

Payment for 15 April to 12 May 2021
All other businesses in receipt of LRSS will receive an automatic top-up payment from 15 April to 12 May. Further top-ups will be issued after 12 May as appropriate.

Phase 9 payment from 15 April to 12 May 

  • Lower rate: £3,200
  • Standard rate: £4,800
  • Higher rate: £6,400

Important notes on Phase 9

  • The payment amounts to be issued to other business types not listed above are currently being confirmed. Updates will be made in due course, and applicants will be contacted directly about their payment amounts. 
  • Phase 9 payments will be reviewed in line with NI Executive decisions in relation to the Health Protection Regulations if appropriate. 

Phase 9 payments will be adjusted slightly to take account of the weekly and daily payment rates for the full period that the applicant business has received payment for from 5 October until their Phase 9 payment end date.


*All sports and massage therapy businesses that received LRSS and CRBSS previously will continue to do so. However, if a business receives the majority of its income from providing services which are not restricted by the current regulations they will not be eligible to receive support going forward and they should contact the grant awarding body to advise them of this.

Exclusions

There are a number of exclusions to the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme, including:  

  • Businesses or services which were not restricted or subject to closure as a result of regulations 4B, 4D, 4DA, 4DB or 4DE of, or paragraphs 1(4) to 1(10) and paragraph 1(12) of Schedule 1 to the Health Protection Regulations. (Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (Amendment No. 24) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020). This excludes:
    • Essential retail businesses under regulation 4C of the Health Protection Regulations
    • Off-licences and supermarkets selling alcohol, which are solely restricted by closure times under regulation 4DC of the Health Protection Regulations
    • Premises restricted by latest ordering time of 11pm on takeaway orders under regulation 4DD of the Health Protection Regulations
    • Sporting events under regulation 5B of the Health Protection Regulations (defined as a gathering for the purpose of exercise, competitive sport, recreational sport or sport training, and dance of any type) 
  • Businesses which do not occupy business premises, such as businesses or the self-employed who rent space on a transient basis from the occupying business or those who operate from their homes or from a vehicle. The valuation of the property for rates purposes will be used to verify business premises, with the exception of hotels, hostels, guesthouses, guest accommodation, self-catering establishments, bunkhouses and bed & breakfasts which may be valued as a domestic property as long as they have received certification from Tourism NI under Article 13 of the Tourism (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.
  • Public sector bodies, NI Housing Executive or Housing Associations.
  • Businesses which have failed to comply with a COVID-19 prohibition notice served by the PSNI.
  • Businesses which were not open to the public and trading immediately before they were forced to close or severely restrict operations at their premises due to the restrictions imposed by the Health Protection Regulations. This exclusion does not apply to businesses operating as a wet pub which serves drink only (see table above).
  • Hotels, guesthouses, bunkhouses, hostels, bed & breakfasts, guest accommodation and self-catering establishments which have not received certification from Tourism NI under Article 13 of the Tourism (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.

Support payments

There are three levels of support available to businesses who fall into the eligible categories listed above and whose application is successful. The level of support that successful applicants will receive is based on the Total Net Annual Value (NAV) of the property from which the business operates:

  • Lower rate: £800 for each week that the restrictions apply for:
    • a business that is the primary occupant operating from a property with an NAV of £15,000 or less,
    • a hotel, guesthouse, guest accommodation, hostel, bunkhouse, self-catering establishment or bed & breakfast with a capital value (which means it is valued as a domestic property for rates); or
    • a business that is the occupier of a part of a property which is restricted with any NAV.
  • Standard rate: £1,200 for each week that the restrictions apply for:
    • a business that is the primary occupant of a property with an NAV between £15,001 and £51,000.
  • Higher rate: £1,600 for each week that restrictions apply for:
    • A business that is the primary occupant of a property with an NAV of £51,001 or more.

You can find the NAV and full address of business properties in the Non-Domestic Valuation List which is published online by Land & Property Services. Search the Non-Domestic Valuation List.  

Support payments will be issued to successful applicants for the period that the Localised Restrictions are in force. You do not need to wait until the end of the restriction period to receive payment. 

If localised restrictions are subsequently extended, support payments will automatically continue. Successful applicants do not need to reapply. Support payments will stop when localised restrictions are ended. 

Further information

Further information about this scheme is available in the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme Guidance (PDF, 952K).

Queries about the scheme can be sent to LocalisedRestrictions@finance-ni.gov.uk.

First published 7 October 2020