Covid 19 - What you need to know - The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 have today been laid before Parliament and will come into force at 12:01am tomorrow morning (18th July 2020) in respect of English premises only. These regulations expire at the end of 17 January 2021.
The regulations, include a number of new powers for Local Authorities to give directions, including a direction to close, relating to specific premises, events and public outdoor spaces.
A Local Authority may give such direction only if the Authority considers that the following conditions are met—
- that giving such a direction responds to a serious and imminent threat to public health,
- that the direction is necessary for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection by coronavirus in the local authority’s area, and
- that the prohibitions, requirements or restrictions imposed by the direction are a proportionate means of achieving that purpose.
In respect of specific premises, a Local Authority may give a direction closing the premises, restricting entry to the premises, or securing restrictions in relation to the location of persons in the premises.
Failure to comply with such directions can be a criminal offence.
The Local Authority must review a direction given under these Regulations at least once every 7 days and withdraw/amend the direction as necessary.
Guidance on the application of these new regulations has also been published and can be read here. The current guidance is woefully lacking in respect of these closure powers save to say that the principle use of the powers appears to be in relation to dispersing large gatherings and not the controlled environments responsible publicans are currently creating, in line with guidance, at pubs and restaurants since 4th July.