Health staff will have to pay for their own parking again from the end of next month.4
Health Minister Robin Swann confirmed he was extending free car parking for HSC staff until August 31.
But after that time normal charging will resume.
The Minister said: “Free car parking for HSC staff was introduced in March 2020 at a time when Northern Ireland was feeling the first impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As we move into recovery phase and focus on rebuilding, the HSC car parking is required once again by returning patients and visitors.
“Car parking is at a premium on several hospital sites across Northern Ireland, causing accessibility issues for patients and visitors. This is impacting on patient appointments and visiting sessions because of the lengthy queues forming to gain access to our hospitals.
“It will therefore be necessary to return to the normal charging regime to preserve parking spaces for patients.”
Free parking was introduced in March 2020 and was extended up to July 31.
The Minister concluded: “I want to reiterate my sincere gratitude to all HSC staff for their work during this pandemic. Whilst it is not over yet, we are now in a different place than this time last year.
“I hope we can continue taking small steps back to full normality.”