Liberty responds to end of many Coronavirus Act powers

Posted on 19 Oct 2021

Liberty has responded after the Government removed many of the most draconian powers in the Coronavirus Act, before Parliament renewed the Act today.

Sam Grant, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Liberty, said: 

“Over the past 18 months, Liberty has repeatedly called to repeal the Coronavirus Act, which was passed in just one day and was always excessive, disproportionate and allowed Government Ministers to side-line Parliament

“We are very pleased to see today that the most dangerous elements of the Act have finally been repealed – including the power to detain anyone deemed ‘potentially infectious’, bans on gatherings including protests, and the relaxation of standards of special educational needs.

“However, this is now the third review of these emergency powers, and it is concerning that the Act has been renewed for a further six months despite being shown to be no longer necessary. Instead of using criminal punishment and coercion to tackle a public health crisis, the Government must prioritise measures like those in our Protect Everyone Bill, which would ban eviction notices during the pandemic to ensure we all have somewhere safe to live, and would uplift benefits for all to match the increased Universal Credit level. It is vital that the Governments puts our health and human rights at the forefront of plans to keep us all safe this winter and beyond.”

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