Friday 25 September 2020

Coronavirus restrictions: The Thicket of legislation - Update (24 September)

By mid-August the "lockdown" had eased with cafes and pubs trading again. Customers returned to local shops and, in early September, schools and Universities resumed. The late summer weather continued to be generally warm and sunny enabling people to enjoy life outdoors whenever possible. Of course, even in August, the pandemic was far from over and caution continued to be vital to minimise the spread of the virus. 

Unfortunately, but perhaps unsurprisingly, the rate of infection

grew and Government data reported that up to 24 September there had been 41902 deaths due to Covid-19. There were 6634 lab-confirmed positive tests reported on 24 September. The government imposed additional restrictions which came into force on 24 September and further Regulations came into force on Monday 28 September.

A bewildering array of legislation therefore faces those who wish to understand what the law permits them to do and then there is the omnipresent "government guidance" and also see UK government - Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: Whay you can and can't do.

All of this is a highly unsatisfactory situation. Amendments have been piled on top of amendments and legislation making key changes is issued with very little notice to the general public. Within the United Kingdom, further complication is added by the fact that the legislation varies across the nation with England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland each making its own legislation. Even more complication is added by legislation applicable only to parts of England - e.g. North West and North East England etc.

Helpfully, two sources are available where the latest legislation may be found a reasonable time after it has been issued - see Legislation database (Coronavirus, restrictions, England) and Hansard Society Coronavirus legislation dashboard 

The following sets out links to the legislation. It is important to note that changes can be made by the government at very short notice.

 *** England - General Restrictions ***

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) (England) Regulations 2020 - (SI 2020/684). 

*** Collection of Contact Details etc ***

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Collection of Contact Details etc and Related Requirements) Regulations 2020 - SI 2020/1005

*** Self Isolation ***

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 - (SI 2020/1045)

 *** England - Face coverings ***

Legislation dealing with "face coverings" may be seen via this search.

Public transport -

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020 - (SI 2020/592) 

Relevant Places - e.g. Shops etc -

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020  - (SI 2020/591) - these are amended by 

*** England - The No 3 Regulations ***

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 - (SI 2020/750).

The No.3 Regulations give Local Authorities powers relating to the control and prevention of coronavirus. See the Explanatory Memorandum.

*** England - Obligations on Hospitality Undertakings ***

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Hospitality Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020 - (SI 2020/1008) 

Explanatory Memorandum

*** England - More localised restrictions ***

Certain parts of England (e.g. NW England and NE England) are subject to Regulations specific to those areas. 

*** Quarantine - International Travel ***

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) Regulations 2020 - (SI 2020/568) - amended numerous times since first issue in June 2020.

: Other parts of the United Kingdom :

Legislation - Search with Coronavirus, Restrictions, Scotland

Wales - Coronavirus legislation and guidance

Northern Ireland - Coronavirus legislation

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