Coronavirus Information

General information on Coronavirus and its impact in NI

COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a type of virus called coronavirus. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, everyone should be trying to follow social distancing measures as much as possible.

In this section you can find the latest information on COVID-19, including looking after yourself physically and mentally. You can also find specific guidance for different groups of people and changes to our services at the South Eastern Trust.

Download the COVID-19 NI App on Google Play or search for Covid-19 NI on the Apple Store.

  • What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

    If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or other respiratory infections, you should take a lateral flow test.

    You may not have all of the symptoms. Symptoms may vary from person to person or different variants of the virus.

    You should also not visit others in hospitals, care homes or those who are vulnerable if you’re unwell.

    Further information about what to do if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection including COVID-19 is available at:

    If you are in a group who may be eligible for COVID-19 treatments and you have symptoms you should follow the guidance at:

  • Maternity Visiting

    Visiting From 1st August 2022

    Maternity Outpatients:

    • Women can  be accompanied by one person/birth partner to all appointments in the Maternity Outpatients Department.

    Induction of Labour:

    • The birth partner may accompany the woman on admission to the Induction Bay and at the start of the induction process. Further visits in the Induction of Labour Bay can be arranged with your midwife.

    Labour Support:

    • In Home From Home women may have 2 birthing partners. If not from the same household 1 metre distance should be adhered to.
    • In Labour Ward women may have 2 birthing partners who can support the woman in labour. One person at a time.
    • A birthing partner may remain with the woman following birth and accompany her on transfer to the Maternity Ward.

    Postnatal visiting:

    • Partners may visit in the Maternity Ward and Home from Home from 11am to 7.30pm.
    • Women may have one other nominated visitor (not a child) during their stay on the Maternity Ward and Home from Home for 2 hours (if in the same household you can visit together, if not in the same household the visits must alternate). These visits can be arranged with your midwife.

    Please support us by continuing to wear a face covering or face mask at all times whilst visiting maternity building and before each visit by taking a lateral flow test.

    You must sanitise your hands on entering the maternity building and again on admission to the individual ward or department

    You must not visit our facilities if you are unwell,  have symptoms or  Covid 19 positive.

    These arrangements are subject to change depending on the circumstances on the ward.

    Your assistance with this is greatly appreciated.

  • Visiting

    Adult Inpatient Wards, Ulster Hospital
    11am – 9pm

    Transition Ward, Ulster Hospital
    3pm-4pm and 7-8pm daily

    Downe Hospital Inpatient Wards
    Lagan Valley Hospital Inpatient Wards
    Mental Health and Disability Inpatient Wards
    Please contact the ward directly to arrange a visit

    Ulster Hospital Emergency Department
    Vulnerable adults, children or palliative patients may be accompanied by one adult only

    We would like to remind visitors to wash their hands on arrival and on departure from our hospitals, in order to protect our patients and staff.

    We still enable virtual visiting, and a daily update phone call to the patient’s next of kin.

    In order to continue to offer an opportunity for friends and family to connect with their loved ones, we are making virtual visitation available to our patients via Zoom.  Our IT teams have developed the guides below to help you connect with your loved ones.

    Scheduling a meeting using zoom

    Planning and joining a zoom call for family

    For patients attending appointments

    • Sanitise your hands.
    • Follow social distancing measures.
    • Attend your hospital appointment on your own (unless you require assistance)
    • If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, do not enter until you have contacted the service you are attending to make specific arrangements.

    People must not visit if they are feeling unwell, especially if they have a high temperature or new persistent cough. Children are also not permitted to visit.

  • Healthcare Apps to help you during COVID-19

    Health and Social Care (HSC) in NI in partnership with ORCHA (Organisation for Review of Care and Health Apps) has developed a library of high quality, convenient Apps to support health and social wellbeing during these difficult times.

    The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted on us all, leading to unprecedented changes in our everyday lives. The restricted living conditions and daily challenges we face can lead to feelings of stress and other difficult emotions.

    The Apps included in the library provide useful support and information on how to manage stress and improve wellbeing, sleep management, staying fit and nutrition.

    You can access the Apps Library via your smart phone or PC at: –

  • Vulnerable groups and those with underlying health conditions
    • For the latest advice for older people and people with an underlying health condition click here. 
    • For the latest PHA advice for people with a learning disability click here. Advice from Mencap and other organisations can be found here.
    • You can find advice for pregnant women and parents at or by clicking here. HSC staff who are pregnant can get more advice here.
  • Bereavement

    This video has been made by the Psychological Services team at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust for parents and children who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19. It aims to help parents support their child to understand the loss and say goodbye when the usual traditions and funeral practices cannot take place. It is accompanied by a workbook, which is available (along with advice and practical guidance on grief and bereavement for adults) here.

  • Looking after your emotional and mental wellbeing

    It’s important to take care of your mental and emotional wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

    If you are concerned about your physical or emotional wellbeing, you should contact your GP.

    If you are in emotional distress or despair, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000.

    • Information on the free Stress Control classes and other training opportunities click here
    • For a library of helpful healthcare apps click here
    • Further useful leaflets can be found here
    • For more information, resources and self-help guides to support for your mental health and
      Wednesday 16 MarchFriday 11th MarchFriday 4th MarchFriday 25th FebruaryFriday 18th FebruaryFriday 11th FebruaryFriday 4th February
      The number of staff employed by the Trust11,52611,52611,52611,48211,48211,48211,353
      The number of staff absent due to COVID (Those who are sick/those who are self isolating). 340 TOTAL - 36 of which are self-isolating498 TOTAL - 45 of which are self-isolating469 TOTAL - 46 of which are self-isolating548 TOTAL - 60 of which are self-isolating461 TOTAL - 59 of which are self-isolating441 TOTAL - 52 of which are self-isolating554 TOTAL - 54 of which are self-isolating
      The number of staff off due to non-COVID sickness810808819816852865868
      emotional wellbeing at this time visit the COVID Wellbeing NI Hub