The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (North of England, North East and North West of England and Obligations of Undertakings (England) etc.) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 were published on the evening of 29th September and come into force at midnight on 30th September 2020. The Regulations restrict gatherings in protected areas within North East to no more than two persons unless exceptions apply. Additional areas have been added to the list of ‘protected areas’,
The Explanatory Memorandum sets out the amendments made by the Regulations to four existing statutory instruments as follows:
- Firstly, it amends the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (North East and North West of England) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/1010) (“the NENW Regulations”) to impose further restrictions on gatherings indoors in the protected area.
- Secondly, it amends the “protected area” in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (North of England) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/828) (“the North of England Regulations”) to add local authorities in the north west to the “protected area” (which were previously listed in the protected area in the NENW Regulations). These amendments have no impact on these areas which will remain subject to the same restrictions.
- Thirdly, the instrument amends the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Obligations of Undertakings) (England) Regulations 2020 (“the Obligations of Undertakings Regulations”) (S.I. 2020/1008) to impose restrictions on relevant premises in the “protected area” to ensure they align with the restrictions in the NENW Regulations. DExEU/EM/7-2018.2 2
- Finally, this instrument amends the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/684) (“the National Regulations”) to disapply the gatherings provisions in those regulations to gatherings indoors in the NENW Regulations.
In summary, the Regulations mean that in the North East:
No person may participate in a gathering in the protected area which (a) consists of two or more persons and (b) takes place indoors.... (unless exceptions apply)
A person "living" in the NE cannot participate in a gathering outside the NE which consists of 2 or more persons and takes place in a private dwelling or indoors (unless exceptions apply).
Hospitality sector must now take reasonable measures not to accept bookings indoors for groups of 2 or more (unless exceptions apply) or admit such groups indoors.
There are lists of exceptions within the Regulations, including:
- Same or linked households
- Gatherings necessary for certain purposes
- Legal obligations
- Visiting a dying person
- Permitted organised gatherings
- Gatherings in criminal justice accommodation.
- Marriages and civil partnerships - no more than 15 persons
- Funerals - no more than 30 persons,
- Wedding and civil partnership receptions - no more than 15 persons.
- Visiting persons receiving treatment etc.
- Elite sports
- Other sports
The list of protected areas, now includes the areas of:
- Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council;
- Blackpool Council;
- Burnley Borough Council;
- Bury Metropolitan Borough Council;
- Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council;
- Chorley Borough Council;
- City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council;
- Fylde Borough Council;
- Halton Borough Council;
- Hyndburn Borough Council;
- Kirklees Metropolitan Council;
- Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council;
- Lancaster City Council;
- Leeds City Council;
- Liverpool City Council;
- Manchester City Council;
- Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council;
- Pendle Borough Council;
- Preston City Council;
- Ribble Valley Borough Council;
- Rochdale Borough Council;
- Rossendale Borough Council;
- Salford City Council;
- Sefton Borough Council;
- South Ribble Borough Council;
- St Helens Borough Council;
- Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council;
- Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council;
- Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council;
- Warrington Borough Council;
- West Lancashire Borough Council;
- Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council;
- Wirral Metropolitan District Council;
- Wyre Borough Council.