There is plenty of confusion about what you can and cannot do during lockdown and the situation is a fast moving one! There has been significant (and sometimes contradictory) guidance and statements from the Government, but how much of it is enforceable?

At the time of writing, the English regulations are broadly found in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and include (subject to various exceptions):

  • The requirement to close premises and businesses on which food or drink is sold for consumption on those premises;
  • The requirement that holiday accommodation cease to carry on business;
  • Restrictions on movement, for example people cannot stay overnight at a place other than where they are living, or where their linked household is living; and
  • Restrictions on gatherings of more than 6 people outside and 2 people inside.

A person commits an offence if they breach these Regulations without a reasonable excuse and may receive a fixed penalty notice of potentially up to £3,200 if a police officer reasonably believes that they have committed the offence.

Similarly, as of 15 June 2020, British Transport Police will be able to issue fixed penalty notices of £100 to passengers on public transport that are not wearing face coverings while traveling.

However, in England, unlike in Wales, Scotland and Northern Island, there is no legislation mentioning the much cited ‘two-metre’ rule; it is only (sensible) Government advice.

The Government has set out its plan and guidance to ensure public safety and a return to normal life as quickly as possible and it is important to remain up to date with the ever changing rules; further updated Government guidance on what you can and cannot do here.

If you or your business require advice on the current Regulations or have received a fixed penalty notice, contact Ian Seeley at or James King.

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