The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021


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.

Background

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.

In summary:

  • 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.

The Regulations are available here. An Explanatory Memo can be found here.

Parliament March 2021

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