Consultation on draft practice advice for COVID-19 and potentially infectious people released

Published on 17 September 2020
Powers under Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 designed to enable officers to support public health officials
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Police officer

Our draft practice advice for the Coronavirus Act 2020 – Schedule 21, powers relating to potentially infectious persons has now been released for consultation.

It has been produced to provide clarity on the police application of the powers to keep a person they reasonably suspect is potentially infectious at a place for screening and assessment under Schedule 21 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. It allows a constable, public health and immigration officer – where they have reasonable grounds to suspect someone is potentially infectious and it is necessary and proportionate to do so – to direct, remove or keep the person at a place suitable for screening and assessment.

The powers are designed to enable officers to support public health officials, working in a collaborative manner through the establishment of effective local communication channels. The National Police Chiefs' Council's Custody and Operation Talla, the policing response to COVID-19, have agreed that police custody is not a suitable place for assessment and screening.

The College of Policing advice sets out what is detailed in the legislation and provides advice on how forces can address areas where there is room for interpretation or there are gaps in practical operational practice.