Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
13 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

Police in England cannot enforce two-metre rule, chiefs say

By Samuel Horti

Police in England have no powers to enforce the two-metre social distancing rule, but police in Wales do, according to new guidance issued to UK forces.

The College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council said officers in England can only enforce what is written in law, and therefore “government guidance is not enforceable, for example two-metre distancing, avoiding public transport or the wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces”.

However, in Wales, police can enforce the two-metre rule, apart from in workplaces, where responsibility lies with local authorities. 

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them