Saturday, 15 August 2020

Coronavirus restrictions: the thicket of legislation

Update 24 September 2020 - This post has now been replaced by 

Coronavirus - The Thicket of legislation Update 24 September

The following is the original post of 15 August.

The weather has been sunny and hot with thunderstorms in various places. The full lockdown has eased. The cafes and pub beer gardens have become busy as customers gather under the sunshades to enjoy their refreshments. Any guidance about "social distancing" is usually ignored. The local shops are also enjoying greater trade after a worrying few months when many were closed down by law.

Children, whose schooling has been disrupted since March by school closures, are now enjoying the summer school holiday. The annual examinations for GCSE and A Levels were cancelled and

grades have been issued by a controversial methodology which has left many young people disappointed and which may yet be the subject of a judicial review.  

The pandemic is far from over even though many of the earlier restrictions have been eased or removed. According to the government's adjusted figures, Covid-19 has resulted in the loss of 41,258 lives in the UK and, on 14 August, 1441 new cases were reported. Consequently, various restrictions remain in place across England and some parts of England are subject to greater restrictions than others.

A bewildering array of legislation faces those who wish to understand what the law permits them to do and then there is the omnipresent "government guidance".  The relationship between the law and the guidance is a topic which I tried to explore just over a month ago in this earlier post.

The remainder of this post sets out links to the amended legislation dealing with restrictions to either England generally or to particular parts of England. Links are also provided to legislation requiring the wearing of face coverings on public transport and in "relevant places" such as shops. 

*** The Legislation ***

England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland all have separate legislation. This post looks at the position in England. It should be noted that the legislation is liable to change and could do so with short notice. Also, the Legislation Database is not always updated promptly. For example Regulations amending earlier Regulations were made on 26 August 2020 and in force on 28 August but the legislation did not appear in its amended form until 7 September.

The English statutory instruments address:

1) those restrictions applicable to England generally,

2) restrictions applicable to particular parts of England,

3) face-coverings.

: 1 - England generally :

24 September - the latest amending Regulations are The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No.2) (England) (Amendment) (No.5) Regulations - in force 24 September.

Also see 14 September 2020 -  The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) (Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2020 - in force at 12.01 on 14 September.

Number 2 Regulations -

On 3 July, the "Number 2" Regulations came into force and replaced the original "lockdown" regulations. Since then they have been amended a number of times. The Regulations are:

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020  

Number 3 Regulations -

Also applying to England generally are the "Number 3" Regulations which first came into law on 18 July but have also been amended since. The No 3 Regulations give powers to local authorities to issue directions. The Regulations are:

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020

: 2 - Particular parts of England :

Local restrictions have been applied in particular places - (a) Leicester, (b) parts of the North of England - see UK Government Local Restrictions. (Restrictions applicable to Luton were revoked).

Leicester - from 3 August earlier Regulations were replaced by

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Leicester) (No. 2) Regulations 2020

Parts of the North of England - the legislation is

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford) Regulations 2020

and there are 

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions on Gatherings) (North of England) Regulations 2020

: 3 - Face-coverings :

Public transport -

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020

Shops etc -

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020  

: Link to Legislation Database:

Legislation - Search with Coronavirus, Restriction, England

Hansard Society - Coronavirus legislation dashboard

: Other parts of the United Kingdom :

Legislation - Search with Coronavirus, Restructions, Scotland

Wales - Coronavirus legislation

Northern Ireland - Coronavirus legislation

15 August 2020 

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