UK | COVID-19 | Relaxation in lockdown restrictions and international travel rules

As the UK government announced plans to ease the lockdown from July, it is increasingly important for businesses to understand the restrictions in order to get back to normal.

While England is preparing for an almost complete recovery from lockdown status, Wales, Scotland and Nothern Ireland are taking more careful steps to relax the reactions step by step. Last week all of them published an amendment to the previous Health Protection Regulations:

Wales: W (SI) 2020/619 – The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 6) Regulations 2020

The amendments consist of provision:

  • permitting certain premises to be open for elite athletes to train and providing that it is a reasonable excuse for elite athletes to be away from their local area, or to gather with other persons for the purposes of training or competition;
  • permitting shops previously required to be closed (and similar premises including car dealerships and outdoor markets) to open, but note that they must comply with requirements relating to physical distancing and their customers must remain in the area local to where they are living;
  • removing limitations on marriage and civil partnership ceremonies taking place, subject to physical distancing requirements;
  • permitting places of worship to open for private prayer;
  • a place of worship or community centre may open (at the request of the Welsh Ministers or a local authority) in order to provide any public service;
  • it is a reasonable excuse to leave your local area or be inside with other persons in order to vote in an election, but only where it is not reasonably practicable to vote otherwise than in person;
  • it is a reasonable excuse to leave your local area or gather indoors with other persons in order to move house; prepare a property for someone to move in; visit an estate or letting agent, developer sales office or show home in connection with the purchase, sale or rental of an unoccupied property; view an unoccupied property.

Scotland: S (SI) 2020/182 – The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 4) Regulations 2020

The amendments consist of provision:

  • an accommodation provider may accommodate any person who needs accommodation while travelling for the purposes of work or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where that person cannot work or provide services from home.
  • a place of worship may open for prayer or contemplation by an individual who is either alone or with members of their household.
  • no person may participate in a gathering in a public place of more than two people with certain exceptions, including where everyone in the gathering are members of no more than three households.
  • persons to wear a face covering when using a passenger transport service or passenger transport service premises. This duty does not apply in certain circumstances, such as on a school transport service or where there is a partition between the person providing transport services and the public.
  • it is a reasonable excuse for a person to take part in exercise or outdoor recreation with up to two other households. It is also a reasonable excuse for a person to attend a place of worship for prayer or contemplation, either alone or with members of their household.
  • it is a reasonable excuse for a member of an extended household to visit, provide assistance to or stay with the household forming the other part of the extended household. 

Nothern Ireland: NI (SI) 2020/109 – The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Amendment No. 7) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

provide that the list of reasonable excuses for leaving the place where a person is living includes the need to visit another person’s private dwelling. The gathering in the dwelling, as a result of the visit, must not exceed 6.

In addition, Scotland made changes to restrictions related to international travel, stating that travellers to remain in a specified place for a period of 14 days. For details.

England and Wlaes also started the Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme, providing a lump sum payment of £60,000 shall be exempted from the charge to tax on employer-financed benefits under section 394 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (c. 1). For detail.

 

For more Covid-19 related information consult our previous alerts. 

Sources:W (SI) 2020/619 – The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 6) Regulations 2020EW (SI) 2020/615 – The Coronavirus Life Assurance Scheme (English and Welsh Schemes) (Excluded Benefits for Tax Purposes) Regulations 2020

S (SI) 2020/184 – The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (International Travel) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2020

NI (SI) 2020/109 – The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Amendment No. 7) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

S (SI) 2020/182 – The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 4) Regulations 2020

from legislation.gov.uk on 24 June 2020

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