Boris Johnson remains committed to avoiding a second nationwide lockdown and has given a wide range of powers to local councils to contain outbreaks as soon as they are detected.
The councils will be able to rely on six separate acts of Parliament to impose lightning closures of public buildings, order mass tests, ban events or shut down entire sectors of the economy.
They will also be able to limit school openings to specific age groups and limit travel to only key workers.
The power to demolish buildings, however, is perhaps the most striking inclusion in the government’s Covid-19 Contain framework.
The document, released by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, informs councils that under the Public Health (Disease Control) Act 1984, they can ask a magistrate “to impose restrictions or requirements for closing off contaminated premises; close public spaces in the local authority area; retain a means of transport or a mobile structure; disinfect or decontaminate the premises; or order that a building, means of transport or structure be destroyed ”.
This raises the possibility that nursing homes, factories, offices, or even private homes could be bulldozed as a last resort if the virus starts to get out of control, although such measures were not deemed necessary during the period. epidemic.
Downing Street sees local or regional lockdowns as the way forward to contain the coronavirus.
The councils have been given a list of all the laws they can use to restrict the movement and behavior of people, including the 2020 coronavirus law.
Among the powers set out in government councils to councils, there is the possibility of