With a quarter of the UK population now living under stricter restrictions, many people complain they cannot keep up with the constant lockdown changes and have been left unsure of what they can and cannot do.
Rules surrounding self-quarantine, face masks, work, school, social life, family visits and meeting friends have been altered 198 times over 209 days, according to analysis published this weekend.
The study covers Government announcements and statements from ministers on new regulations, national restrictions, local lockdowns and travel measures.
There have been 114 restrictions and changes to the way people live, 44 changes to the way people live locally and 37 travel restriction changes across England.
Senior MP Steve Baker is among a group of around 40 Tory backbenchers planning to challenge the Government over the Coronavirus Act when its renewal is debated in the Commons next week.
The Wycombe MP is backing and amendment tabled by Sir Graham Brady which will demands parliamentary debate and approval before all major national coronavirus measures come into effect.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Baker said: “I acquiesced in the fast passage of the Coronavirus Act in the grave situation of the time.
“Ministers evidently required broad powers to respond swiftly and efficiently to the reasonable worst case scenario we faced.
“Today, 100 Acts of Parliament have enabled 242 statutory instruments related to the disease. Rapid, repeat amendment and revocation have been commonplace.
“Doubtless ministers have acted in good faith, but today’s is not a fit legal environment for a democratic and free society.
“Parliament must take back control.”
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7.30am update: Labour calls for students to be allowed home for Christman
Labour is calling for university students to be allowed to go home at Christmasamid fears the coronavirus outbreaks could keep the locked down in halls when term ends.
Thousands of students are currently confined to their rooms following a surge in cases at institutions including Glasgow, Manchester Metropolitan and Edinburgh Napier.
And Health Secretary Matt Hancock last week declined to rule out asking students to stay on campus over Christmas.
Shadow education secretary Kate Green has written to her opposite number Gavin Williamson, urging him to “promise” students that such restrictions will not be imposed.
She said it would be “deeply unfair to see students forced to remain in their student accommodation” and asked Mr Williamson to “work with universities to ensure every student has access to testing to allow a safe journey home” for Christmas.
10.10am update: Ministers warn public to obey rules or face further restrictions
Ministers have warned people to stick to coronavirus rules or face tougher restrictions.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “The key thing now is that people stick to the existing rules that we have, they observe the ‘rule of six’, ‘hands, face and space’ – people wash their hands, make sure they wear face coverings, particularly indoors, and observe social distancing.
“If we do all of those things, we can keep the virus under control, keep our economy open and avoid further restrictions.
“It really is in the power of everyone watching this show to make sure they abide by those rules and prevent further draconian restrictions.
“No man is an island in this: each person has to take their own responsibilities because it will in turn affect everyone else.
“And the Government is taking its responsibility both in terms of ensuring the correct rules are in place, but also for example by ensuring massive amounts of PPE equipment, a huge upsurge in testing capacity.”
9.22am update: MPs ‘must share Government’s dreadful burden’
Former minister Steve Baker said MPs must share in the “dreadful burden” of decision-making on coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Baker told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “MPs should be sharing in the dreadful burden of decision in these circumstances and not just retrospectively being asked to approve what the Government has done.”
He said there were “plenty” of MPs who would back the amendment, and that he thought it would be selected by the Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.
Mr Baker described the coronavirus rules as “draconian”, and said he and colleagues were putting forward a “very modest proposal” that they should vote on law before it comes into effect.
“How do people think that liberty dies? It dies like this with Government exercising draconian powers, without parliamentary scrutiny in advance, undermining the rule of law by having a shifting blanket of rules that no one can understand.”
8.42am update: Matt Hancock announces free iPads for care home residents
Thousands of care homes across England will be given access to iPads as a way to help residents keep in touch with family in the face of rising coronavirus cases and limited visits.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the technology will be a “gateway” for people to keep in touch with loved ones.
Under the Government’s adult social care winter action plan, revealed last week, visitors to care homes in areas with high numbers of coronavirus cases will continue to be constantly supervised.
Any facility listed by Public Health England’s (PHE) surveillance report as being an area of intervention should immediately move to stop visiting, except in “exceptional circumstances”, according to the plan.
Announcing the £7.5 million programme to provide up to 11,000 iPads, the Department of Health and Social Care said the technology could help residents and staff.
Source:Daily Express :: UK Feed