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Police have ‘no powers’ to enforce social distancing

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Police across England have “no powers” to arrest or enforce the two-metre rule of social distancing, as officers are only allowed to act on what is written in law.

However, the government are advising people to follow the two-metre rule, but this is not law.

The government are telling people to avoid using public transport and wear face covering in enclosed spaces, but this is not law, as by definition, following a guideline is never mandatory in law.

The College of Policing have issued fresh guidelines and the National Police Chiefs’ Council have said that the police are unable to enforce such measures.

They said the guidelines urges officers to only act on what is written in law, adding that the “Government guidance is not enforceable, for example two-metre distancing, avoiding public transport or the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces.”

On 26 March The Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force, as of 12:01 on Wednesday the amended laws withing the Act do not address social distancing, therefore one could be free to visit family and friends, with the unclear clarity.

National Police Chiefs’ Council chairman Martin Hewitt said that the two-metre social distancing is not enshrined in law.

Hewitt told Sky News that it is “not a policing role” to enforce social distancing, he insisted it’s an “individual responsibility.”

“We are not in a position to police the two-metre social distancing.”




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