The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021
This instrument revokes and replaces the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 (“the All Tiers Regulations”) (S.I. 2020/1374) and contains the legislative framework which will implement Steps 1-3 of the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown in England.
The Regulations come into force on 29 March 2021 and will expire at the end of 30 June 2021.
On 6 January 2021, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 3) and (All Tiers) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/8) effectively imposed a national lockdown. On 8 March 2021 the All Tiers Regulations were amended by the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place and Restrictions: All Tiers) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (S.I. 2021/247) to implement the first part of Step 1 of the Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown.
This instrument revokes and replaces the All Tiers Regulations with a legislative framework to apply the rest of the Step 1 restrictions from 29 March 2021 and set out steps 2 and 3 of the Roadmap out of lockdown.
The instrument also amends various other Coronavirus legislation.
Regulation 3 defines the existing concept of a linked household (‘support bubble’), setting out how these can be formed and changed.
Regulation 4 defines the existing concept of a linked childcare household (‘childcare bubble’) which permits informal childcare for under-14s.
Regulation 5 sets out when an organised gathering is permitted under this instrument and regulation 6 sets out the precautions that the gathering organiser must take in relation to the gathering.
Regulation 7 provides that the restrictions for Step 1 (set out in Schedule 1) apply to the Step 1 area (all of England); the restrictions for Step 2 (set out in Schedule 2) apply to the Step 2 area; and the restrictions for Step 3 (set out in Schedule 3) apply to the Step 3 area.
Regulation 8 provides that no person may leave England to travel to a destination outside the United Kingdom (“UK”) without a reasonable excuse (set out in Schedule 5). It also provides that a person who is present at an embarkation point for the purpose of travelling to a destination outside the UK must have with them a completed travel declaration form.
Regulation 9 provides the Secretary of State with a direction-making power to disapply any relevant restriction or requirement in relation to a specified premises, event or gathering, for the purpose of a research programme to evidence the potential transmission of COVID-19 in controlled environments. Before making or revoking such a direction, the Secretary of State must consult the Chief Medical Officer or one of the Deputy Chief Medical Officers of DHSC. A direction is made by being published online and must be published in the London Gazette as soon as reasonably practicable after it is made.
Regulation 10 sets out the actions a relevant person may take to enforce any Step 1, 2 or 3 restriction, or any restriction and requirement in regulation 8, and how they should exercise that enforcement.
Regulations 11 - 19 cover how an offence is committed under the Regulations and information around fixed penalty notices.
Parliament March 2021