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Coronavirus emergency legislation

 

Introduction

The first piece of United Kingdom legislation made in response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic was the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (2020 No. 129) which came into force on 10 February 2020. The regulations applied to England only but equivalent regulations were made for Wales. These regulations were superseded by the Coronavirus Act.

On 26 March 2020, regulations made under public health legislation which impose restrictions on businesses and on movement and gatherings of people were introduced separately for each UK nation.

Temporary closure and restrictions on business and restrictions on movement and gathering of people

 

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 (2020 No. 350) came into at 1.00 p.m. on 26th March 2020. They replace the first set of the COVID-19) pandemic regulations (the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Business Closure) (England) Regulations 2020) which required the closure of food and drink establishments. The Regulations apply to England only.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (2020 No. 55), the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (2020 No. 103) and the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (2020 No. 353) provide very similar though not identical regulations for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales respectively.

See the article on Temporary closure and restrictions on business and restrictions on movement and gathering of people

Coronavirus Act 2020

The main if not only UK-wide coronavirus legislation is the Coronavirus Act 2020 although some provisions only apply to individual UK nations. This Act provides for miscellaneous matters including temporary registration of health professionals and social workers, public health and health service arrangements, registrations of deaths and inquests, criminal and civil justice among others. The Act also empowers the government and local authorities to give directions for the temporary closure of schools, educational establishments and childcare premises. Finally the Act provides temporary protection from eviction for certain residential and business tenants.

Business support measures

The government has introduced special financial support measures for businesses, self-employed and employees. Special regulations affecting statutory sick pay, social security, holiday leave, motor vehicle tests and other matters have been made for Great Britain with equivalent measures for Northern Ireland.

[Page created: 07/04/2020]