MPs have agreed to extend emergency coronavirus powers for another six months in a vote in the House of Commons.
A vote on early Thursday evening saw 484 MPs vote in favour of the extension, while 76 voted against it.
The Government has said that the powers will stay in place for “only as long as necessary”, though some argued that the powers were inappropriate and did not match the Government’s plans for the easing of lockdown measures.
The Chairman of the 1922 Committee (a committee of Conservative MPs), Sir Graham Brady described the powers as “a very extreme policy response” and voted against their extension. Most, but not all Labour MPs supported the extension.
A total of 35 Conservative MPs voted against the extension, while 21 Labour MPs also voted against it.
The emergency powers were introduced at the start of the pandemic last March and have allowed the Government to take actions far beyond what would usually be possible, such as closing all pubs, nightclubs, non-essential retail and other venues, while setting up enforcement measures and fines for those breaching restrictions.