By Grahame Anderson

The Government published new laws on Tuesday to reinforce those lockdown restrictions in the North confirmed on July 31. .They will come into effect from midnight – Wednesday August 5.

Fines Now Possible

It means anyone found flouting the regulations could be fined £100 up to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offences.

Areas Affected

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions on Gatherings) (North of England) Regulations 2020 impose restrictions on Calderdale and Kirklees in West Yorkshire. They also apply to metropolitan, city and borough council areas in Manchester, Bury, Oldham, Bolton, Stockport, Trafford, Salford, Tameside, Wigan, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale. These could be amended at any time as directed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

These new regulations also amend existing laws for Bradford, Darwen and Blackburn, meaning these same areas are subject to the same measures. Previously they were under less restrictive legislation.

Though not involving hotels, guest houses, camp sites and care homes, the laws also prohibit people from meeting others from different households in areas outside the lockdown zone. It’s worth remembering People are not allowed to meet in groups of more than 30 in public places.

And of course, its important to note people from different households are currently banned from meeting in a private home or garden in these areas.

No Official Comment

No comment has been forthcoming in official circles as to why a delay had occurred in imposing the new regulations – and if they had any legal basis in the first few days of these measures.

Human rights barrister Adam Wagner, said on Twitter, said: “They come into force and do not (cannot) apply to anything which happened before that.”

Fortnightly Review

The restrictions brought in to operation last week must be reviewed once every 14 days with the first taking place by August 19. It’s possible however, they could last for up to six months if the Government doesn’t withdraw them first.

Exemptions

Individuals forming a support bubble becoming linked households are exempt along with those going to work, sharing childcare duties or visiting a dying loved one. This also includes those people attending a birth at the Mothers request, those caring for a vulnerable person. People fulfilling a legal obligation and those moving house. Anyone escaping injury, with an illness or under risk of harm are also exempt.