UK News Lawyers for tycoon challenging lockdown blast 'onerous' restrictions
'We won't break the law': Burnham would accept Tier 3 if imposed on Greater Manchester
Andy Burnham says he will keep to the law and "accept" Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions for Greater Manchester if the government imposes them. The region's mayor told Sky News it was ministers' "prerogative" to announce the measures, if negotiations over the next few hours end in stalemate.
Covid-19 lockdown rules are among 'the most onerous restrictions to personal liberty' in almost four centuries, the Court of Appeal has heard.
Lawyers representing businessman Simon Dolan, 51, told three senior judges that the regulations - aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus - 'imposed far-reaching restrictions on the lives and businesses of the entire population of England'.
Aviation tycoon Mr Dolan, who according to the Sunday Times Rich List is worth £200million, is pursuing a claim against Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Education Secretary Gavin Williamson over the restrictions.
Chancellor set to unveil more support for businesses in Tier 2 areas
Businesses in parts of England under Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions will get further financial support in a package unveiled by the chancellor today, according to reports. Rishi Sunak will announce the new measures - aimed particularly at pubs, bars and restaurants - in the Commons later, according to The Daily Telegraph.Currently, hospitality premises in "high risk" areas such as London and Birmingham are only allowed to take customers from the same household, unless mixed groups sit outside, resulting in a considerable drop in footfall.
At a Court of Appeal hearing on Thursday, Philip Havers QC, barrister for Mr Dolan, said lockdown regulations announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in March 'introduced restrictions on the freedoms of the people in this country never seen before in times of peace or war'.
In documents before the court, Mr Havers said Mr Dolan's claim 'involves a wholesale challenge to some of the most onerous restrictions to personal liberty' imposed since the time of Oliver Cromwell and the English Protectorate in the mid-1600s, 'if not ever'.
Just 13% of English 'fully understand' Covid-19 lockdown rules
Only 51% of people in England felt they understand the 'majority' of Covid-19 rules - up from 45% in July but down from 90% in lockdown - with just 13 per cent 'fully understanding' them.That falls to only five per cent of people under 30 in England and Wales, according to the ongoing University College London (UCL) Covid-19 Social Study.
He argued the restrictions have 'unusually affected every person in England each day, not merely prospectively' and are 'estimated to have cost the economy up to £2.5billion per day'.
'It is of the greatest public interest that the challenge is determined by the courts at the highest level,' Mr Havers added.
Dolan, who lives in Monaco but owns ten businesses in the UK employing 600 people, claims the powers used were made outside the scope of the 1984 Public Health Act.
At Thursday's hearing, Mr Havers told Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, sitting with Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Singh, it is not an academic exercise for the court to hear a challenge to the original lockdown rules, which have been amended since they were brought in.
Warrington will go into Tier 3: Council leaders say deal is agreed
A deal on putting Warrington into Tier 3 has been agreed, council leaders have told Sky News. The deal, which has not yet been confirmed by the government, includes £4.2m in financial support for businesses.However, it has not yet been decided when the new coronavirus restrictions will come into effect across the northern town, but it could potentially be next Thursday.
'There is a real prospect that the original lockdown, or something like it, will be reimposed in the near or very near future,' Mr Havers said.
Strict restrictions similar to the national lockdown are being imposed across many areas of England, he said.
Mr Havers added that another national lockdown 'would seem to be the inevitable consequence if the most recent measures to try to reduce the infection rate fail to do so'.
He told the judges: 'If the court subjects these regulations to judicial scrutiny and if the Government is considering a second lockdown, the Government, together with Parliament and the public, will have available to them what this court, or the High Court, has to say about the proportionality of the original lockdown.'
The Government would have to take this into account when deciding whether to bring in another lockdown, Mr Havers said, and the public would be able to consider the Government's actions in this context.
Bacteriologist says restaurant and pub closures NOT backed by evidence
Hugh Pennington, professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, said he is frustrated by the lack of information being used to support the shutdown. It comes after hospitality groups signalled their intention to take legal action against the Government.
Mr Dolan has taken his case to the Court of Appeal after a High Court judge refused permission for a full hearing of his challenge in July.
The businessman, who is pursuing his case with others, is challenging the original lockdown rules and the current restrictions, as well as the decision to close schools for most children.
He argues the restrictions are unlawful because they are outside the Government's powers under public health legislation and a 'disproportionate breach' of human rights laws.
Mr Dolan's claim is being opposed by the Government.
In written submissions, Sir James Eadie QC, barrister for the Government, said Mr Dolan's challenge was 'a root-and-branch attack on the measures (that is, all of the measures over time) at the heart of the legislative steps taken in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic to protect the public and to seek to save lives by ensuring social distancing'.
He said the Government has been 'acutely aware of the impacts of the regulations and the restrictions they contain, on day-to-day life'.
'It has kept those restrictions under continual review, including at the regular formal review stage,' Sir James said.
He argued that Mr Dolan's case should be dismissed, saying it is 'unarguable'.
The hearing continues.
Dominic Raab hints Government considering Tier Four coronavirus curbs .
Dominic Raab today hinted the Government could introduce a new Tier Four set of even stricter coronavirus restrictions as he refused to rule out a national lockdown. The Government's current local lockdown system is based on three tiers but there are fears that even the most draconian rules in Tier Three are not enough to stop the spread of the disease. A new Tier Four could see non-essential shops told to close and travel limited to getting to work and school.