The UK government announced an impending threat from the new Coronavirus because someone threatened to leave a quarantine centre.
A source said the reason emergency regulations were made is that an unnamed person indicated they might abscond from the Arrowe Park Hospital, Merseyside.
The new laws could give police or security the ability to physically stop someone leaving the quarantine centre. It’s understood the person in question is still there and a source said this highly specific problem, and not the Coronavirus itself, is what the government considered an immediate threat.
The overall threat to the British public continues to be moderate and hasn’t changed and it’s not known why the person threatened to leave or what the wider circumstances were.
It is not known why the person threatened to leave or what the wider circumstances were but Health Minister Matt Hancock announced that the emergency powers gives the government extra-legal authority to fight the spread of the virus.
Per Regulation 3, the Secretary of State announced that the occurrence or transmission of novel Coronavirus constitutes a grave or imminent threat to public health.
The steps described in those regulations are regarded as an effective method of delaying or preventing further transmission of the virus and the source said the move was as much for the person’s safety as the safety of the public.
Overwhelmingly everyone who’s been in quarantine has been very good about it.
There are now approximately eight confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom and there were 83 British nationals who were flown home from virus epicentre Wuhan for two weeks and quarantined at Arrowe Park.
They were expected to be joined by 11 other Brits when more evacuation flights arrived and it’s believed that those who arrived signed a contract agreeing to stay in quarantine for 14 days.
But after one person said they wanted to leave, officials feared this contract would not give enough legal powers to prevent the person from exiting the building.
Known as the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations, the law is an emergency power made by the Health Secretary under section 45 of the 1984 Public Health Act. It will let police wearing protective gear restrain someone if they attempt to leave quarantine.
According to the 1984 Act, ministers could also force parents to keep a child away from school, prevent certain events or gatherings, or put constraints on the transport of human remains.
On top of all that, the 1984 Act further allows a ‘special restriction or requirement’ to be imposed by magistrates. However, it’s believed the new laws hold no criminal offences and will not criminalise those in quarantine.
It’s believed the law came into force when the Health Secretary signed and will terminate if not supported by Parliament within 28 days.
The law classifies Arrowe Park Hospital and Kents Hill Park in Milton Keynes as ‘isolation’ amenities and Wuhan and Hubei province in China as an infected area and it comes after a British man who caught coronavirus in Singapore seemed to be connected to at least seven other affirmed cases in England, France and Spain.
Health officials have not established a link or giving details on his relationship to the other people diagnosed with the illness.
These people have been flown back to the United Kingdom to restrict the spread or possible spread of this virus, by flying them in and putting them straight into quarantine, controlling and quarantining the disease and not relying on foreign isolation.