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One United Kingdom, four lockdowns?

Subtle differences in Regulations across the UK risk creating confusion

By Rachel Jones  

Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

On 26th March, three separate Statutory Instruments giving effect to the “lockdown” came into effect in England, Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland followed suit two days later. In each case, these Regulations were made urgently by the respective governments of the four parts of the UK with no prior approval by the legislature*, citing the “serious and imminent threat to public health” posed by the spread of coronavirus. In effect, these four sets of Regulations created four materially different lockdown laws.

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