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Should anyone be exempt from the rules of self-isolation?

Lawyers can break self-isolation rules to go to court the Law Society Gazette reported on 30th September.

Is this one rule for them and another for everybody else? I am afraid it is looking increasingly like that.

 To put this into perspective, the health protection regulations came into force on Monday 28th September when it became illegal for anyone not to self-isolate that should.

These measures were implemented of course to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

However, a person can come out of self-isolation ‘to fulfil a legal obligation, including attending court or satisfying bail conditions, or participating in legal proceedings’ according to the ministry of justice.’

The Gazette asked the government to confirm if lawyers, court staff or anyone required to attend court are exempt from the latest regulations.

The Ministry of Justice said, “there is a longstanding exemption to allow people to participate in important court business despite lockdown measures”.

What is so special about lawyers? The regulations do not say “applies to everyone except lawyers” so why is the MOJ interpreting it as that? I would have thought that any court user, whether it be lawyer, client, or staff had to follow the rules in order to keep everyone around them safe.

If ever there was a case of mixed messages, this one certainly caught my attention.

The MOJ, having been asked the direct question, confirmed that if a lawyer had tested positive for COVID-19 and came out of self-isolation to attend court they would not be breaking the law.

I do not know about you, but I find this utterly astonishing. People bending the rules to suit their own needs is in my view the very reason we are where we are with lockdown restrictions. 

In the news today I see Boris Johnson’s father, walking around a supermarket with no face covering, Jeremy Corbyn attending a meal with more than 6 people. They have both said “sorry”. Does sorry make it alright? No, it does not in my opinion. Issue the fines and do it immediately. 

What makes these people so special? My view is that they are not. They are so arrogant and full of their own self-importance that the rest of us trying to get out of this sorry mess simply do not matter. They will do as they please and the rest suffer because of their interpretations/actions. 

Should anyone be exempt from the rules of self-isolation?

This blog was written by Lynn Mahon

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this post sets out the general position under the general law. It should not be acted upon in any specific circumstances without taking specific legal advice as to those circumstances. Also, it should not be relied upon, acted upon or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. If you do require specific advice please contact us for assistance.