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10 February 2020

Government introduces legal powers to impose restrictions on individuals at risk of spreading COVID-19

Introduced by

Department of Health and Social Care

Targeted at

Patients and general public believed to have COVID-19 and people who have arrived in England on a ship, aircraft or train and have left an infected area in the previous 14 days

Timings

Introduced on 10 February 2020. Regulations revoked and superseded by Coronavirus Act 2020

Stated aims

House of Commons introduction: 'containment [...] ensuring that people who are contacts of known cases, or who are considered to be at high risk of ​infection, are isolated from others for a period of time, ensuring that they cannot infect others but can readily access help if they fall ill'. Explanatory notes: 'to level up across the UK, so that the actions to tackle this threat can be carried out effectively across all four nations'.

Summary

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 give health professionals the power to detain patients with COVID-19 for the specific purposes of screening and assessment, or to isolate them for a period of time, and allow police constables to detain people suspected of having the virus. The regulations allow restrictive measures for screening, isolation and contact, but there is no provision for compulsory treatment of a person.

Source(s)

Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020

Hansard transcript