Covid protest ban to be lifted in England as Govt ‘U-turns’ on raft of restrictions

March 22, 2021, 8:25 pm | Updated: March 22, 2021, 8:35 p.m.

Protests will again be a legal exception to rules that prohibit group meetings
Protests will again be a legal exception to rules that prohibit group meetings.

Image: PA

Share Twitter

Coronavirus restrictions on protests in England are among a series of measures that will be lifted starting next Monday in a move known as the government’s “U-turn”.

From March 29, demonstrations will again be an exception to the rule that prohibits group meetings.

Protests get the green light under the law if organized by a company, the public, a political body or other group and as long as “necessary precautionary measures” are taken.

This likely includes measures like making sure people wear face masks and maintain their social distance. However, there is no limit to the number of people who can take part in such events.

The ban on demonstrations was introduced to avoid large gatherings during the Coronavirus Lockdown, which sparked disturbing scenes at the Clapham Common vigil for Sarah Everard earlier this month.

Ministers confirmed on Monday that the easing of protest restrictions will be one of several measures that will be changed, suspended or immediately lifted as part of England’s roadmap out of lockdown.

It comes off after several days heavy criticism from Tory backbenchers that the easing of measures is not fast enough given the success of the UK vaccine launch.

Continue reading:: The government is fighting to defend the six-month extension of the blocking powers

Continue reading:: Tory rebels challenge the prime minister’s plans to extend lockdown powers through October

Among the restrictions removed from Coronavirus law is a section described by Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey as part of “restricting people’s right to care.”

The party leader, who is a patron of the Disability Law Service, said he was “glad that ministers have finally accepted the need to fully restore care rights” and “turn around” on the “unlawful and unnecessary restriction of care rights” .

“However, far too many people are still missing out on the care they need because the conservative government is not giving local authorities the funding they need,” he added.

In addition, ministers will remove the section that has increased the length of time authorities can keep fingerprints and DNA profiles.

A government spokesman said the six-month extension would not resume until after next Monday when it is voted on in parliament.

Continue reading:: Vacationers risk a £ 5,000 fine as new laws prohibit leaving the UK without an apology

See:: Nick Ferrari clashes with Minister over Lockdown Power Extension

From March 29, up to six people or two households will be allowed to meet outdoors as England moves out of the lockdown stage to the next stage of the roadmap.

Exceptions to the “rule of six” are protests, pickets and gatherings organized by charities or political groups.

The government was increasingly pressured by MPs, colleagues and activists to clarify that demonstrations should be allowed during the reign Covid-19 Pandemic.

Sam Grant, director of politics and campaigns at human rights group Liberty, said: “It is to be welcomed that the next level of lockdown includes the explicit exception that we have requested – this should have persisted throughout the current lockdown. It is unacceptable that it will wait until next week. “

Meanwhile, Conservative MPs including Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Steve Baker have raised concerns about the government’s plans to expand lockdown powers in England.

Parliament is expected to approve an extension of the coronavirus law later this week, which will give the government immediate powers to fight the pandemic.

Continue reading:: Will the British be able to travel abroad? LBC asks a government minister

See:: Starmer says his “standard position” is to help expand the barrier forces

Mr Baker, the vice chairman of the Covid Recovery Group, said he expected to vote against the “disproportionate, extreme and completely unnecessary” measures on Thursday, while Sir Iain told LBC the schedule looked “very slow compared to that.” where we believe the reality is “.

The new rules also allow students to return home during the Easter break.

On Monday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Today we are laying down the legal bases that, if agreed by Parliament, will deliver the roadmap out of the lockdown.

“These actions have been critical in reducing infections, hospital admissions and deaths across the country. Thanks to the dedication and support of the people, we have made great strides.

“We are right to end as many national measures as possible while maintaining what remains necessary and proportionate to further reduce and control infections as we gently but irreversibly relax restrictions and our historic vaccination program continues.”

A total of 12 provisions will be deleted from the Coronavirus Act on Monday:

  • Sections 8-9 (applies to the UK) on the use of volunteers when health service delivery has been compromised as a result of the pandemic
  • Section 15 (which applies to England and Wales but will be deleted in England) to relax parts of the Care Act
  • Section 12 (applies to the UK) to extend the retention periods for fingerprints and DNA profiles
  • Sections 25-29 (applies to the UK) on requiring information from businesses and individuals involved in the food supply chain
  • Section 71 (which applies to the UK) on allowing a single Treasury Officer to sign instruments and act on behalf of agents (will again require all signatures)
  • Section 79 (applies to England) on the expansion of Business Improvement Districts (BID) agreements
  • Section 84 (applies to England) on the Queen’s permission to postpone the elections to the General Synod of the Church of England

Three determinations are also suspended:

  • Section 22 (applies to the UK) on the appointment of Interim Justice Commissioners
  • Section 23 (applies to the UK) on time limits relating to, for example, urgent arrest warrants under the Investigatory Powers Act
  • Section 58 / Schedule 2, Part 2 (which applies to the UK and is suspended in England) on permission to issue instructions under Part 2 when it is believed that death management was not properly organized

Comments are closed.