The powers available to implement a local lockdown are contained under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and also under the Public Health Act 1984 in which the government can make new health protection regulations to initiate local lockdowns.
We have seen that Leicester has been subject to a “local lockdown” due to the disproportionate rise in Coronavirus cases in that area. The “local lockdown” restricts movement of people, in particular the restriction of events or gatherings in accordance with Schedule 22 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. Leicester has also seen the delay of reopening of their pubs and non-essential retail have been forced to close again as a result of the “local lockdown”.
The above poses practical questions as to the effect of the “local lockdown” has on organisations and, in particular, how your organisation is affected even if you operate beyond the lockdown area. You may need to consider how your operations could be affected by reliance on suppliers, employees, customers located in these areas or are there areas which if subject to lockdown could expose your organisation to difficulty in operating there and perhaps nationally.
Enforcement available within the “local lockdown” area is the same as that in which we all faced in March, April and May which was in place across the whole country. Insurance considerations are also important and it would be a good time to review any insurance policies you have that may include cover for such disruption or contingencies.
It is likely that the government will seek to implement further “local lockdown” areas depending on where outbreaks occur in the country and we will be keeping a watchful eye on how this will be enforced and the practical issues that will arise as a result of “local lockdowns”.
It is important that you consider within any contingency planning or risk assessments how a “local lockdown” in the current climate may affect your operations and certainly any employees that may not be able to attend in person where usually the easing of the lockdown restrictions would allow this to happen.
If you have any questions or concerns about how this will affect your operations, then please contact us to discuss your options. You can reach the regulatory team by contacting James or Sarah on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or alternatively by calling 0113 234 3055.