There has been much debate about what is, and what is allowed, under the Coronavirus legislation. That debate is best informed by knowledge of the Regulations themselves. Here are the Health Protection Regulations in full.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020
at 1.00 p.m. on 26th March 2020
Laid before Parliament
at 2.30 p.m. on 26th March 2020
Coming into force
at 1.00 p.m. on 26th March 2020
The Secretary of State makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 45C(1), (3)(c), (4)(d), 45F(2) and 45P of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984(1).
These Regulations are made in response to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in England.
The Secretary of State considers that the restrictions and requirements imposed by these Regulations are proportionate to what they seek to achieve, which is a public health response to that threat.
In accordance with section 45R of that Act the Secretary of State is of the opinion that, by reason of urgency, it is necessary to make this instrument without a draft having been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.
Citation, commencement, application and interpretation
1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and come into force at 1:00 p.m. on 26th March 2020.
(2) These Regulations apply in relation to England only.
(3) In these Regulations—
(a)“coronavirus” means severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2);
(b)a “person responsible for carrying on a business” includes the owner, proprietor, and manager of that business;
(c)“vulnerable person” includes—
(i)any person aged 70 or older;
(ii)any person under 70 who has an underlying health condition, including but not limited to, the conditions listed in Schedule 1;
(iii)any person who is pregnant.
Revocation and saving
2.—(1) The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020(2) (the “first Regulations”) are revoked.
(2) Notwithstanding the revocation of the first Regulations, they continue in force in relation to any offence committed under the first Regulations before these Regulations came into force.
(3) A designation made in exercise of powers conferred by regulation 4(1) and (2) of the first Regulations is to be treated as it had been made in the exercise of powers conferred by regulations 8(12)(a)(iv) and 11 of these Regulations.
The emergency period and review of need for restrictions
3.—(1) For the purposes of these Regulations, the “emergency period”—
(a)starts when these Regulations come into force, and
(b)ends in relation to a restriction or requirement imposed by these Regulations on the day and at the time specified in a direction published by the Secretary of State terminating the requirement or restriction.
(2) 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 being carried out by 16th April 2020.
(3) As soon as the Secretary of State considers that any restrictions or requirements set out in these 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.
(4) A direction published under this regulation may—
(a)terminate any one or more requirement or restriction;
(b)terminate a requirement or restriction in relation to a specified business or service or a specified description of business or service.
(5) In this regulation, “specified” means specified in a direction published under this regulation.
Requirement to close premises and businesses during the emergency
4.—(1) A person responsible for carrying on a business which is listed in Part 1 of Schedule 2 must—
(a)during the emergency period—
(i)close any premises, or part of the premises, in which food or drink are sold for consumption on those premises, and
(ii)cease selling food or drink for consumption on its premises; or
(b)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.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), 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.
(3) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a)(ii) and (b), 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.
(4) A person responsible for carrying on a business or providing a service which is listed in Part 2 of Schedule 2 must cease to carry on that business or to provide that service during the emergency period.
(5) Paragraph (4) does not prevent the use of—
(a)premises used for the businesses or services listed in paragraphs 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 of that Part to broadcast a performance to people outside the premises, whether over the internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast;
(b)any suitable premises used for the businesses or services listed in that Schedule to host blood donation sessions.
(6) If a business listed in Part 1 or 2 of Schedule 2 (“business A”) forms part of a larger business (“business B”), the person responsible for carrying on business B complies with the requirement in paragraph (1) if it closes down business A.
Further restrictions and closures during the emergency period
5.—(1) A person responsible for carrying on a business, not listed in Part 3 of Schedule 2, of 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
(b)close any premises which are not required to carry out its business or provide its services as permitted by sub-paragraph (a);
(c)cease to admit any person to its premises who is not required to carry on its business or provide its service as permitted by sub-paragraph (a).
(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to any business which provides hot or cold food for consumption off the premises.
(3) Subject to paragraph (4), 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.
(4) A person referred to in paragraph (3) may continue to carry on their business and keep any premises used in that business 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.
(5) A person who is responsible for a place of worship must ensure that, during the emergency period, the place of worship is closed, except for uses permitted in paragraph (6).
(6) A place of worship may be used—
(b)to broadcast an act of worship, whether over the internet or as part of a radio or television broadcast, or
(c)to provide essential voluntary services or urgent public support services (including the provision of food banks or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation sessions or support in an emergency).
(7) A person who is responsible for a community centre must ensure that, during the emergency period, the community centre is closed except where it is used to provide essential voluntary activities or urgent public support services (including the provision of food banks or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation sessions or support in an emergency).
(8) A person who is responsible for a crematorium or burial ground must ensure that, during the emergency period, the crematorium is closed to members of the public, except for funerals or burials.
(9) If a business referred to in paragraph (1) or (3) (“business A”) forms part of a larger business (“business B”), the person responsible for carrying on business B complies with the requirement in paragraph (1) or (3) to cease to carry on its business if it ceases to carry on business A.
Restrictions on movement
6.—(1) During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a reasonable excuse includes the need—
(a)to obtain basic necessities, including food and medical supplies for those in the same household (including any pets or animals in the household) or for vulnerable persons and supplies for the essential upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household, or the household of a vulnerable person, or to obtain money, including from any business listed in Part 3 of Schedule 2;
(b)to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household;
(c)to seek medical assistance, including to access any of the services referred to in paragraph 37 or 38 of Schedule 2;
(d)to provide care or assistance, including relevant personal care within the meaning of paragraph 7(3B) of Schedule 4 to the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006(3), to a vulnerable person, or to provide emergency assistance;
(e)to donate blood;
(f)to travel for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for that person to work, or to provide those services, from the place where they are living;
(g)to attend a funeral of—
(i)a member of the person’s household,
(ii)a close family member, or
(iii)if no-one within sub-paragraphs (i) or (ii) are attending, a friend;
(h)to fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or to participate in legal proceedings;
(i)to access critical public services, including—
(i)childcare or educational facilities (where these are still available to a child in relation to whom that person is the parent, or has parental responsibility for, or care of the child);
(iii)services provided by the Department of Work and Pensions;
(iv)services provided to victims (such as victims of crime);
(j)in relation to children who do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents, to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children, and for the purposes of this paragraph, “parent” includes a person who is not a parent of the child, but who has parental responsibility for, or who has care of, the child;
(k)in the case of a minister of religion or worship leader, to go to their place of worship;
(l)to move house where reasonably necessary;
(m)to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm.
(3) For the purposes of paragraph (1), the place where a person is living includes the premises where they live together with any garden, yard, passage, stair, garage, outhouse or other appurtenance of such premises.
(4) Paragraph (1) does not apply to any person who is homeless.
Restrictions on gatherings
7. During the emergency period, no person may participate in a gathering in a public place of more than two people except—
(a)where all the persons in the gathering are members of the same household,
(b)where the gathering is essential for work purposes,
(c)to attend a funeral,
(d)where reasonably necessary—
(i)to facilitate a house move,
(ii)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,
(iii)to provide emergency assistance, or
(iv)to participate in legal proceedings or fulfil a legal obligation.
Enforcement of requirement
8.—(1) A relevant person may take such action as is necessary to enforce any requirement imposed by regulation 4, 5 or 7.
(2) A relevant person may give a prohibition notice to a person if the relevant person reasonably believes that—
(a)the person is contravening a requirement in regulation 4 or 5, and
(b)it is necessary and proportionate to give the prohibition notice for the purpose of preventing that person from continuing to contravene the requirement.
(3) Where a relevant person considers that a person is outside the place where they are living in contravention of regulation 6(1), the relevant person may—
(a)direct that person to return to the place where they are living, or
(b)remove that person to the place where they are living.
(4) A relevant person exercising the power in paragraph (3)(b) to remove a person to the place where they are living, may use reasonable force, if necessary, in the exercise of the power.
(5) Where the person outside the place where they are living without reasonable excuse is a child accompanied by an individual who has responsibility for the child—
(a)the relevant person may direct that individual to take the child to the place where they are living, and
(b)that individual must, so far as reasonably practicable, ensure that the child complies with any direction or instruction given by the relevant person to the child.
(6) Where a relevant person has reasonable grounds to believe that a child is repeatedly failing to comply with the restriction in regulation 6(1), the relevant person may direct any individual who has responsibility for the child to secure, so far as reasonably practicable, that the child complies with that restriction.
(7) For the purposes of this regulation, an individual has responsibility for a child if the individual—
(a)has custody or charge of the child for the time being, or
(b)has parental responsibility for the child (within the meaning of the Children Act 1989(4)).
(8) A relevant person may only exercise the power in paragraph (3), (5) or (6) if the relevant person considers that it is a necessary and proportionate means of ensuring compliance with the requirement.
(9) Where a relevant person considers that three or more people are gathered together in contravention of regulation 7, the relevant person may—
(a)direct the gathering to disperse;
(b)direct any person in the gathering to return to the place where they are living;
(c)remove any person in the gathering to the place where they are living.
(10) Paragraphs (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8) of this regulation apply to the exercise of a power under paragraph (9), as they apply to the exercise of a power under paragraph (3).
(11) A relevant person exercising a power under paragraph (3), (5), (6) or (9) may give the person concerned any reasonable instructions they consider to be necessary.
(12) For the purposes of this regulation—
(a)a “relevant person” means—
(ii)a police community support officer,
(iii)subject to paragraph (13), a person designated by a local authority for the purposes of this regulation, or
(iv)a person designated by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this regulation;
(b)references to a requirement include references to a restriction.
(13) A local authority may only designate a person for the purposes of this regulation in relation to a requirement in regulation 4 or 5.
Offences and penalties
9.—(1) A person who—
(a)without reasonable excuse contravenes a requirement in regulation 4, 5, 7 or 8, or
(b)contravenes a requirement in regulation 6,
commits an offence.
(2) A person who obstructs, without reasonable excuse, any person carrying out a function under these Regulations commits an offence.
(3) A person who, without reasonable excuse, contravenes a direction given under regulation 8, or fails to comply with a reasonable instruction or a prohibition notice given by a relevant person under regulation 8, commits an offence.
(4) An offence under this regulation is punishable on summary conviction by a fine.
(5) If an offence under this regulation committed by a body corporate is proved—
(a)to have been committed with the consent or connivance of an officer of the body, or
(b)to be attributable to any neglect on the part of such an officer,
the officer (as well as the body corporate) is guilty of the offence and liable to be prosecuted and proceeded against and punished accordingly.
(6) In paragraph (5), “officer”, in relation to a body corporate, means a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate.
(7) Section 24 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984(5) applies in relation to an offence under this regulation as if the reasons in subsection (5) of that section included—
(a)to maintain public health;
(b)to maintain public order.
(8) For the purposes of this regulation, references to a requirement include references to a restriction.
Fixed penalty notices
10.—(1) An authorised person may issue a fixed penalty notice to anyone that the authorised person reasonably believes—
(a)has committed an offence under these Regulations;
(b)is over the age of 18.
(2) A fixed penalty notice is a notice offering the person to whom it is issued the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for the offence by payment of a fixed penalty to a local authority specified in the notice.
(3) The local authority specified in the notice must be the local authority (or as the case may be, any of the local authorities) in whose area the offence is alleged to have been committed (“the relevant local authority”).
(4) Where a person is issued with a notice under this regulation in respect of an offence—
(a)no proceedings may be taken for the offence before the end of the period of 28 days following the date of the notice;
(b)the person may not be convicted of the offence if the person pays the fixed penalty before the end of that period.
(5) A fixed penalty notice must—
(a)give reasonably detailed particulars of the circumstances alleged to constitute the offence;
(b)state the period during which (because of paragraph (4)(a)) proceedings will not be taken for the offence;
(c)specify the amount of the fixed penalty;
(d)state the name and address of the person to whom the fixed penalty may be paid;
(e)specify permissible methods of payment.
(6) The amount specified under paragraph (5)(c) must, subject to paragraph (7), be £60.
(7) (a) Unless sub-paragraph (b) applies, a fixed penalty notice must specify that if £30 is paid before the end of the period of 14 days following the date of the notice that is the amount of the fixed penalty;
(b)if the person to whom a fixed penalty notice is given has already received a fixed penalty notice under these Regulations—
(i)sub-paragraph (a) does not apply, and
(ii)the amount specified as the fixed penalty is to be—
(aa)in the case of the second fixed penalty notice received, £120;
(bb)in the case of the third and subsequent fixed penalty notice received, double the amount specified in the last fixed penalty notice received by that person, to a maximum of £960.
(8) Whatever other method may be specified under paragraph (5)(e), payment of a fixed penalty may be made by pre-paying and posting to the person whose name is stated under paragraph (5)(d), at the stated address, a letter containing the amount of the penalty (in cash or otherwise).
(9) Where a letter is sent as mentioned in paragraph (8), payment is regarded as having been made at the time at which that letter would be delivered in the ordinary course of post.
(10) In any proceedings, a certificate—
(a)that purports to be signed by or on behalf of the chief finance officer of the local authority concerned, and
(b)states that the payment of a fixed penalty was, or was not, received by the date specified in the certificate,
is evidence of the facts stated.
(11) In this regulation—
(a)“authorised person” means—
(ii)a police community support officer;
(iii)a person designated by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this regulation;
(iv)subject to paragraph (12), a person designated by the relevant local authority for the purposes of this regulation;
(b)a “chief finance officer”, in relation to a local authority, means the person with responsibility for the authority’s financial affairs.
(12) The relevant local authority may only designate a person for the purposes of this regulation to issue fixed penalty notices where the alleged offence relates to the contravention of a requirement or restriction in regulation 4 or 5.
11. Proceedings for an offence under these Regulations may be brought by the Crown Prosecution Service and any person designated by the Secretary of State.
12.—(1) These Regulations expire at the end of the period of six months beginning with the day on which they come into force.
(2) This regulation does not affect the validity of anything done pursuant to these Regulations before they expire.
Secretary of State for Health
Department for Health and Social Care
At 1:00 p.m. on 26th March 2020
SCHEDULE 1Underlying Medical Conditions
1. Chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or bronchitis.
2. Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure.
3. Chronic kidney disease.
4. Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis.
5. Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, a learning disability or cerebral palsy.
7. Problems with the spleen, such as sickle cell disease or removal of the spleen.
8. A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy.
9. Being seriously overweight, with a body mass index of 40 or above.
Regulations 4 and 5
SCHEDULE 2 Businesses subject to restrictions or closure
1. Restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs.
2.—(1) 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.
(2) Workplace canteens may remain open where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food.
3. Bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs.
4. Public houses.
8. Bingo halls.
9. Concert halls.
10. Museums and galleries.
12. Betting shops.
14. Nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers.
15. Massage parlours.
16. Tattoo and piercing parlours.
17. Skating rinks.
18. Indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools, bowling alleys, amusement arcades or soft play areas or other indoor leisure centres or facilities.
19. Funfairs (whether outdoors or indoors).
20. Playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
21. Outdoor markets (except for stalls selling food).
22. Car showrooms.
23. Auction Houses.
24. Food retailers, including food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores and corner shops.
25. Off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol (including breweries).
26. Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists.
28. Homeware, building supplies and hardware stores.
29. Petrol stations.
30. Car repair and MOT services.
31. Bicycle shops.
32. Taxi or vehicle hire businesses.
33. Banks, building societies, credit unions, short term loan providers and cash points.
34. Post offices.
35. Funeral directors.
36. Laundrettes and dry cleaners.
37. Dental services, opticians, audiology services, chiropody, chiropractors, osteopaths and other medical or health services, including services relating to mental health.
38. Veterinary surgeons and pet shops.
39. Agricultural supplies shop.
40. 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.
41. Car parks.
42. Public toilets.