Using Coronavirus for dangerous “experiments” with democratic rights

Vague emergency legislation gives UK police & ‘public health officers’ powers to DETAIN suspected Covid-19 sufferers

19 Mar, 2020
The British government is giving police, public health and immigration officers authority to detain those suspected of having coronavirus under a new emergency bill, but it’s not clear exactly how the new powers will be exercised.
The proposed powers were outlined in a 329-page emergency bill on Thursday and come as the UK implements more draconian measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In explanatory notes provided with the bill, the government says “public health officers, constables and (in some circumstances) immigration officers” will be granted the means to enforce “sensible public health restrictions…where necessary and proportionate.” This includes returning people to places they have been required to stay.
It adds that officers will be able to “direct individuals to attend, remove them to, or keep them at suitable locations for screening and assessment.” It’s not entirely clear what constitutes a “public health official” or what “necessary and proportionate” might cover in practice, given the vague language used.

Government’s emergency virus Bill a ‘drastic reimagining of state powers’

By Ceren Sagir
HUMAN-rights campaigners and opposition figures warned of a “drastic reimagining of state powers” in the guise of the Emergency Coronavirus Bill announced in Parliament today.
The Bill gives emergency powers to the government to take urgent action on the Covid-19 outbreak.
Tabled by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the measures are expected to last for two years and will be rushed through the Commons on Monday.
Plans include giving police and immigration officers sweeping powers to arrest people suspected of carrying the virus and not self-isolating.
Liberty director Martha Spurrier said it was “essential to remain vigilant to any watering down of rights or overbearing restrictions on civil liberties,” warning that the approach could set a dangerous precedent.