On Saturday we reported the introduction of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020 (‘Business Closure Regulations’).
This afternoon, following the introduction of the Coronavirus Act 2020 yesterday, new regulations were introduced this afternoon the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and can be found here (‘Restriction Regulations’).
The former Business Closure Regulations have been revoked and replaced by the Restriction Regulations. In addition to measures requiring specified business to close, further restrictions are imposed generally. These new measures, which apply to England only, took effect at 1pm this afternoon and continue throughout what is described as the ‘emergency period’.
The ‘emergency period’ will last until a date and at the time specified in a direction published by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State must review the need for restrictions and requirements imposed by these Regulations at least once every 21 days, with the first review required by 16th April 2020.
As soon as the Secretary of State considers that any restrictions or requirements set out in the Regulations are “no longer necessary to prevent, protect against, control or provide a public health response to the incidence or spread of infection in England with the coronavirus”, the Secretary of State must publish a direction terminating that restriction or requirement.
Restrictions on movement
During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse. Reasonable excuses is defined in regulation 6 and includes:
- to obtain basic necessities, including food and medical supplies for those in the same household (including any pets or animals in the household),
- to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household,
- to seek medical assistance…
Restrictions on gatherings
During the emergency period, no person may participate in a gathering in a public place of more than two people except:
- where all the persons in the gathering are members of the same household,
- where the gathering is essential for work purposes,
- to attend a funeral,
- where reasonably necessary—
- to facilitate a house move,
- to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person, including relevant personal care within the meaning of paragraph 7(3B) of Schedule 4 to the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006,
- to provide emergency assistance, or
- to participate in legal proceedings or fulfil a legal obligation.
Pubs, Cafes & Restaurants
A person responsible for carrying on a business which is listed below must, during the emergency period:
- close any premises, or part of the premises, in which food or drink are sold for consumption on those premises, and cease selling food or drink for consumption on its premises.
- if the business sells food or drink for consumption off the premises, cease selling food or drink for consumption on its premises during the emergency period.
- Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs.
- Cafes, including workplace canteens (subject to sub-paragraph (2)), but not including—
a. cafes or canteens at a hospital, care home or school;
b. canteens at a prison or an establishment intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes or for the purposes of the Department of the Secretary of State responsible for defence;
c. services providing food or drink to the homeless.
[Workplace canteens may remain open where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food.]
- Bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs.
- Public houses.
For the purposes of this part of the regulations, an area adjacent to the premises of the business where seating is made available for customers of the business (whether or not by the business) is to be treated as part of the premises of that business.
For the purposes of this part of the regulations, food or drink sold by a hotel or other accommodation as part of room service is not to be treated as being sold for consumption on its premises.
The following premises are ordered to close, without exemption:
- Bingo halls.
- Concert halls.
- Museums and galleries.
- Betting shops.
- Nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers.
- Massage parlours.
- Tattoo and piercing parlours.
- Skating rinks.
- Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools, bowling alleys, amusement arcades or soft play areas or other indoor leisure centres or facilities.
- Funfairs (whether outdoors or indoors).
- Playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
- Outdoor markets (except for stalls selling food).
- Car showrooms.
- Auction Houses.
A person responsible for carrying on a business consisting of the provision of holiday accommodation, whether in a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartment, home, cottage or bungalow, campsite, caravan park or boarding house, must cease to carry on that business during the emergency period.
A person may continue to carry on their business and remain open:
a. to provide accommodation for any person, who—
i. is unable to return to their main residence;
ii. uses that accommodation as their main residence;
iii. needs accommodation while moving house;
iv. needs accommodation to attend a funeral;
b. to provide accommodation or support services for the homeless,
c. to host blood donation sessions, or
d. for any purpose requested by the Secretary of State, or a local authority.
In addition, a person responsible for carrying on a business, not listed in Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the regulations, offering goods for sale or for hire in a shop, or providing library services must, during the emergency period
a.cease to carry on that business or provide that service except by making deliveries or otherwise providing services in response to orders received
i. through a website, or otherwise by on-line communication,
ii. by telephone, including orders by text message, or
iii. by post;
The premises exempt from the above are:
- Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops.
- Off licences and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries).
- Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists.
- Homeware, building supplies and hardware stores.
- Petrol stations.
- Car repair and MOT services.
- Bicycle shops.
- Taxi or vehicle hire businesses.
- Banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers and cash points.
- Post offices.
- Funeral directors.
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners.
- Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health.
- Veterinary surgeons and pet shops.
- Agricultural supplies shop.
- Storage and distribution facilities, including delivery drop off or collection points, where the facilities are in the premises of a business included in this Part.
- Car parks.
- Public toilets.
Special Covid 19 Update – The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020A series of fixed penalty notices and fines have been specified for those breaching the regulations.