Breach of COVID-19 Regulation Success
Sonn Macmillan Walker represented a husband and wife who each received £10,000 fixed penalty notices issued by Border Force in April 2022.
The notices related to alleged breaches of the Covid-19 regulations in August 2021. At the start of July 2021, our clients travelled to Colombia (a red zone country) to be with a gravely ill parent. After the funeral, our clients tested negative before they travelled to Germany (a green zone country). Unfortunately, they stayed 8 days instead of 10 days as required under the 2021 regulations, before flying into the UK. They were detained by Border Force, despite having tested negative before leaving Germany, and were forced to quarantine in a hotel where they twice tested negative after 10 days’ isolation.
In October 2022, our clients were prosecuted under the Single Justice Procedure having refused to pay the fixed penalty notices. They entered not guilty pleas and we made extensive representations to the prosecutor (Hampshire Constabulary) concerning the law and ‘Evidential Stage’, pursuant to the Code for Crown Prosecutors. We also provided compelling evidence tending to demonstrate that there wasn’t a public interest in prosecuting our clients.
The prosecutor agreed that our clients had a “reasonable excuse” for failing to comply with the Covid requirements and withdrew the charges. Our clients were delighted with this eventual outcome.