United Kingdom
Corona and Democracy - United Kingdom

On this page, we are collecting information on the effects of the measures taken to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus on democracy in the United Kingdom.

 

Information on COVID-19 measures and democracy

Type of measures Measures & sources
Limitations to freedom of movement
  • Gatherings of more than 2 people (excluding people who live together) are banned. At least until 13 April. Non-compliance is punishable by a fine.
  • People are only allowed to leave their house for specific reasons.

   10 May:

  • The government announced the easing of some lockdown restrictions from 13 May (outdoor physical activity and workers who cannot work from home).

5 June:

  • Further restrictions have been eased, allowing, among others, social gatherings 
Limitations to electoral rights
  • Numerous local elections in the UK have been postponed to for a year, they will be held in May 2021.
Limitation to civil rights

 

 
Risks to data security
  • NHS contact-tracing app should be launched in June. The app would alert the users if they come in contact with another user tested positive to Covid-19. The app is voluntary and it keeps a trace of others who have been in close contact through Bluetooth signals that transmit an anonymous ID. These low energy Bluetooth signals perform a digital "handshake" when two users come into close contact, but keep that data anonymous. Concerns have been raised regarding data privacy.
Limitations to freedom of information

 

 
Emergency powers for government
  • Parliament is closed until at least 21 April - at present, no digital alternatives have been presented.
  • For two years the Government is allowed to take people into or keep them in quarantine, or direct a person to attend a designated place, restrict or prohibit mass gatherings and close premises
  • The bill needs to be renewed by parliament every 6 months.
Corona laws - full text
Various
  • Inside the UK, regional differences in measures exist.
Last updated on 10.06.2020

 

Please note that we are constantly updating the information under rapidly changing circumstances, the information on this page should not be taken to be a complete overview of measures in a country. 

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