The claimants sought permission to bring judicial review proceedings to challenge the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (as amended) as well as the Government’s decision to close schools and educational establishments in response to the Coronavirus.
The High Court refused to grant permission for the judicial review challenge. It held that the claim brought against the original regulation 6 (which prohibited people in the UK from leaving home without reasonable excuse) and regulation 7 (which prohibited more than 2 people gathering in public) was academic. The Secretary of State had the legal power to make the Regulations and so was not beyond the power conferred by the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984. It was unarguable that the decision to make the Regulations and to impose the restrictions contained within them was in any way disproportionate to the aim of combatting the threat to public health posed by the virus. A number of the restrictions had since been removed or erased.
Zoe Leventhal was instructed by the Government Legal Department and Hugh Southey QC acted for the Independent Workers Union of GB on an intervention.