Posted by: John Brace | 13 October 2020

What are the new restrictions on what you can’t do in Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Halton from the 14th October 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic?

What are the new restrictions on what you can’t do in Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Halton from the 14th October 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic?

                                     

A protest outside Wallasey Town Hall in 2016 - protests of this size whilst the regulations are in force will only be allowed if a risk assessment has been carried out and all reasonable measures have been taken

A protest outside Wallasey Town Hall in 2016 – protests of this size whilst these regulations are in force will only be allowed if a risk assessment has been carried out and all reasonable measures have been taken

By John Brace (Editor)
First publication date: 13th October 2020, (BST).

Tomorrow (Wednesday 14th October 2020) further public health restrictions come into force in Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Halton. The regulations are called the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (Very High) (England) Regulations 2020 and are 27 pages long with a 13 page Explanatory Memorandum.

The need for the regulations will be reviewed every 28 days (with the first review planned to be carried out on the 11th November 2020).

These regulations allow a police constable, police community support officer or person designated by the local Council to issue fixed penalty notices for alleged breaches of the regulations.

The new offences are detailed in regulation 5. For clarity, the areas (Wirral, St Helens, Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Halton) are called a Tier 3 area and Tier 3 restrictions refers to the restrictions and requirements in Schedule 1. Regulation 5 states:-

“5.—(1) A person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, the person—

(a) contravenes a Tier 3 restriction,
(b) contravenes a requirement imposed, or a direction given, under regulation 4,
(c) fails to comply with a reasonable instruction or a prohibition notice given by a relevant person under regulation 4, or
(d) obstructs any person carrying out a function under these Regulations (including any person who is a relevant person for the purposes of regulation 4).”

Regulation 4 refers to prohibition notices, dispersal of gatherings and the responsibility of adults in charge of children at gatherings.

The restrictions on indoor gatherings are that gatherings of two or more people are not allowed (with some exceptions) in private dwellings or in any indoor space in the Tier 3 area and for people who live in the Tier 3 area this requirement also applies outside the Tier 3 area. The exceptions to this are the same as the exceptions for outdoor gatherings plus exceptions for visiting a dying person, visiting persons receiving treatment etc and informal childcare.

Gatherings of up to six people outdoors are allowed in an outdoor place if no payment is required to access the outdoor space or if it is an outdoor sports ground or sports facility, botanical gardens, gardens or grounds of a castle, stately home or historic houses.

However, apart from those exceptions detailed in that previous paragraph, outdoor gatherings of two or more people outside are not allowed unless one of the following exceptions apply (for the detail on each exceptions read the regulations). The exceptions are those from the same or linked households, permitted organised gatherings, gatherings necessary for certain purposes, legal obligations and proceedings, criminal justice accommodation, support groups, births, marriages and civil partnerships etc, funerals, a commemorative event following a person’s death, protests, elite sports, other sports, Remembrance Sunday and a gathering for the purposes of a relevant outdoor activity.

Gathering is interpreted as:-

“(2) A gathering takes place when two or more persons are present together in the same place in order—

(a) to engage in any form of social interaction with each other, or
(b) to undertake any other activity with each other.”

In the regulations is also a long list of restrictions on businesses and closures of various types of businesses which are detailed in Part 2 of Schedule 1 (pages 20-24).

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Responses

  1. Restrictions should be increased. Vulnerable people will be at risk. Will only work if the rules are followed, which in the past many have ignored

    • Thanks for your comment Sheila, it remains to be seen if the rules are followed which I presume for some will be determined partly by how likely the rules are to be enforced.

  2. If any sane person can understand all this gobbledegook it will be a miracle.

    • I agree it would be better if the rules were simpler, then they would be better understood.

  3. Will only work if the rules are followed.


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