Key dates in coronavirus lockdown regulations

Lancashire will become the second area in England to face the most severe lockdown restrictions as it moves to the highest alert level.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the key dates relating to coronavirus laws.

– February 10

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 come into force.

People with coronavirus can now be forcibly quarantined and will not be free to leave, and can be forcibly sent into isolation if they pose a threat to public health.

Failure to comply with restrictions, or absconding from isolation, is punishable with a fine of up to £1,000.

– March 26

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 come into force in England.

Police officers now have powers to enforce staying at home and avoiding non-essential travel.

It also lists in detail the businesses and buildings which can stay open – like supermarkets, hardware stores and post offices – and those that must close – such as pubs, restaurants and theatres – during the crisis.

– May 13

Existing legislation is updated, with lockdown fines rising to £100 in England.

The new guidance says people are allowed to exercise outside as many times a day as they want – although a limit on this was not previously enforced by law.

People are also permitted to spend time outdoors other than for exercise, as well as driving to outdoor open spaces “irrespective of distance” as long as they observe social distancing rules when there.

– June 1

The latest laws, called the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020, come into force.

Gatherings of up to six people can now take place outdoors in England, for example in open spaces or in private gardens.

But people are banned from staying overnight anywhere other than the place where they are living, and any indoor gatherings of two or more people are also prohibited unless they are members of the same household.

– June 8

Travellers arriving in the UK now have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival or risk being fined if they do not comply.

Under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) Regulations 2020, travellers must fill out a form providing contact information, travel details and an address of where they plan to self-isolate.

– June 15

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) (England) Regulations 2020 come into force.

Face coverings become mandatory on public transport in England, as passengers caught not complying with the regulations risk being fined £100 and removed from services.

– July 4

New local lockdown rules for Leicester, called the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Leicester) Regulations 2020, come into force.

The regulations state all non-essential businesses must shut and ban people from staying overnight at another household.

– August 5

Regulations placing restrictions on people who live in Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire come into force.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions on Gatherings) (North of England) Regulations 2020 ban people from different households meeting in their homes, gardens or other private dwellings.

– August 28

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions on Holding of Gatherings and Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 come into force ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

Anyone facilitating an unlicensed music event or “any other unlawful gathering of 30 people or more” could face £10,000 fines.

– September 14

The coronavirus “rule of six” comes into force in England, meaning any social gatherings of more than six people both indoors and outdoors will break the law.

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020, people face fines of £100, doubling to a maximum of £3,200 for repeat offences.

– September 24

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2020, pubs, bars and restaurants in England must offer table service only.

Hospitality, leisure, entertainment and tourism businesses will all have to close between 10pm and 5am.

Under the same laws, from September 28 a maximum of 15 people will be allowed to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, but the limit remains at 30 for funerals.

– October 14

The whole of England is now subject to one of the three tiers of coronavirus laws, with separate regulations published for each tier.

Amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local Covid-19 Alert Level) (High) (England) Regulations 2020, which apply to areas in Tier 2, will come into force on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local Covid-19 Alert Level) (Very High) (England) Regulations 2020 is also due to be updated to include Lancashire.