Voices: Lockdowns, arrests and 100,000 fines: Was the Coronavirus Act really the right answer to the pandemic?

6 months ago 22

On 25 March, the Coronavirus Act expires. That means it’s been 2 years since the authorities was rushed done parliament with adjacent to nary parliamentary scrutiny from MPs.

It handed sweeping caller powers to the police, including the powerfulness to detain anyone “potentially infectious”, lowered attraction standards for disabled radical and older people, and threatened the close to protest, paving the mode for the disgraceful scenes we saw astatine Clapham Common astatine a vigil pursuing the execution of Sarah Everard. It has since been ruled successful tribunal that constabulary breached the rights of the organisers.

As good arsenic introducing the Coronavirus Act, the authorities besides deployed reams of confusing regulations and guidance nether the Public Health Act 1984, erstwhile much arsenic portion of a increasing inclination of evading parliamentary scrutiny.

So, with galore months of lockdowns down us, and much than 100,000 fines issued, what person we truly learnt astir the government’s effect to the pandemic?

Right from the beginning, it was wide that the authorities was going to instrumentality an enforcement-led attack to the pandemic, focusing connected giving the constabulary caller and punitive powers alternatively than ensuring enactment for all. This, successful my opinion, was foolish. The microorganism has shown america that nary 1 is protected until we are each protected.

This is wherefore civilian nine groups – and galore MPs crossed the governmental spectrum, myself included – called for a nationalist wellness attack from the precise beginning: giving radical the enactment they needed to self-isolate erstwhile they tested positive, and suspending the hostile situation truthful that migrants could entree healthcare without fearfulness of detention oregon deportation.

In March 2020, I tabled my Coronavirus (No 2) Bill with a cross-party radical of MPs, based connected Liberty’s Protect Everyone Bill. The measure would person ensured that sick wage was precocious capable that radical connected debased incomes could spend to self-isolate, and that everyon...

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