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21 August 2020

Challenge to the self-isolation requirements for failing to have regard to the needs of disabled people

2 mins

Bindmans LLP have sent a letter to the government, pursuant to the pre action protocol for judicial review asking them to amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) Regulations 2020 that require those entering the UK from non-exempt countries to self-isolate for 14 days to allow disabled people to take exercise required to maintain their health and well-being.

The Regulations impose self-isolation requirements on return to the UK which are even stricter than the original lockdown requirements brought in during March 2020, in that they prevent disabled persons from leaving their homes for exercise at all. Adults and children with disabilities (including those with autism and mental health conditions) are disproportionately affected by the strict and inflexible regulations, which is therefore unlawful and discriminatory.

The government has, however, chosen to grant a number of people exemption from these requirements, including border workers, sportspeople and television producers as well as classes of people whose international travel supports public functions.

Jessie Brennan, a Solicitor at Bindmans has said:

It is vital that the spread of Covid-19 is contained and that the government continues to act to ensure those travelling abroad do not cause the virus to spread any further. However, the Government has again forgotten the needs and entitlements of disabled people when introducing protective measures; choosing to focus on the economy instead of the health and well-being of some of society’s most vulnerable people. We are seeking a change to the law to recognise that for some disabled people, like our client, it would be impossible for them to stay inside for 14 days without causing a serious detrimental impact to their well-being.

Our client’s mother has said:

We are grateful for the government’s urgent attention in helping to bring an end to this anomaly which is inadvertently undermining the health and well-being of disabled people during quarantine.

The Claimant is represented by Jessie Brennan, Bindmans LLP and Alice Irving of One Crown Office Row.

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