UK: Councils to Demolish Buildings, Homes and Cars, Supposedly to Stop COVID

August 7, 2020 in News by RBN Staff


Source: Need To Know | DailyMail and Telegraph


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given a broad range of powers to local councils theoretically to contain COVID outbreaks. Among those powers is the demolition of care facilities, businesses and private homes, cars, buses, trains, and airplanes. Councils will be able to impose lightning closures of public buildings, order mass testing, ban public or private events, or shut down whole sectors of the economy. The power over the decision as to what get destroyed is in the hands of Directors of Public Health, chosen by council executives. -GEG
  • Boris Johnson remains determined to avoid a second nationwide lockdown
  • Councils able to draw on laws to impose lightning closures of public buildings
  • As last resort the 1984 Control of Disease Act allows for building demolition
Councils and public health officials have the power to demolish buildings and even homes infected with coronavirus, it has emerged.
As a last resort for preventing the spread of the disease, powers granted to local authorities – with the permission of a magistrate – could see anything from a car to a train destroyed.
The revelation comes as Boris Johnson remains determined to avoid a second nationwide lockdown at all costs, and has chosen to empower councils to properly enforce localised lockdowns.

In the recently published COVID-19 contain framework guide, local decision making related to the disease is placed in the hands of Directors of Public Health, supported by council chief executives.

The document makes reference to several pieces of legislation they can call upon, including the Health Protection Regulations 2020, which passed in July, which can force business premises to close and also restrict events.

Among the most powerful laws councils could take advantage of is the Public Health (Control of Disease Act) 1984, giving the power to destroy buildings.

The law says: ‘Local authorities can make an application to a Justice of the Peace in the Magistrates’ Court to impose restrictions or requirements to close contaminated premises; close public spaces in the area of the local authority; detain a conveyance or movable structure; disinfect or decontaminate premises; or order that a building, conveyance or structure be destroyed.’

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