UK and Ireland: COVID-19 Legislation and Guidance Update

Legislation Update

Covid-19 PPE

(This blog post covers a sample of legislation & guidance published between 9th April – 13th May)

 

Ireland

The Construction Industry Federation has developed a plan and standard operating procedures to COVID-19 public health requirements. The “Construction Sector C-19 Pandemic Standard Operating Procedures” document can be found here.

The European Communities (Medical Devices) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI No. 144 of 2020) give the Minister for Health the power, in the context of the Covid-19 emergency, to authorise the placing on the market or putting into service of non-CE marked medical devices.

The Department of the Taoiseach and Department of Health have published a “Roadmap for reopening society and business” (1st May 2020). This Roadmap sets out Ireland’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions on a phased basis.

The European Union (Control of Exports of Personal Protective Equipment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 (SI No. 159 of 2020) give effect to Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/568 of 23 April 2020 making the exportation of certain products subject to the production of an export authorization. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/568 replaces Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/402, which was published in the Official Journal on 15 March 2020 and automatically ceased to apply on 26 April 2020. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/568 of 23 April 2020 requires an export authorisation in respect of exports of certain products of medical PPE, as detailed in Annex I of the Regulation, outside of the customs territory of the EU.

 

European Union

Regulation (EU) 2020/561 of 23 April 2020 amends Regulation (EU) 2017/745 on medical devices, as regards the dates of application of certain of its provisions. To prevent shortages or delays in placing medical devices on the market as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regulation (EU) 2020/561 postpones the application of certain provisions of the Medical Devices Regulation from 26 May 2020 to 26 May 2021.

 

United Kingdom

The Environment Agency has published a stream of COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements that apply to permitted sites and other industrial establishments. The Regulatory Position Statements are time-limited and will help to minimise risks to the environment and human health where compliance with certain regulatory requirements may not be possible due to coronavirus.

COVID-19 and Packaging Waste: Registering as a Packaging Producer: RPS C9. The Environment Agency has published a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) relating to the requirement for obligated packaging producers, on or by 7 April each year, to register with the Agency and provide complete and accurate information with the application. The Agency will not take enforcement action or charge an additional fee where an obligated packaging producer has either not registered or registered but provided inaccurate or incomplete information as a consequence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures the government has introduced.

The Environment Agency has published a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) on “Excavated waste from utilities installation and repair: RPS 211” in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. It allows excavated waste, which has not been assessed and classified in line with the hazardous waste technical guidance, to be classified as non-hazardous waste for a limited period of time, subject to certain conditions.

The Environment Agency has also published a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) on “COVID-19 and delaying hazardous waste consignee returns: RPS C14” in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis

The Health and Safety Executive has published guidance on “Staffing and fatigue at onshore major hazard establishments during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic“. This guidance covers the potential impact on risk to establishments during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from: operating with reduced staffing; loss of key staff; and/or increased staff fatigue.

The Construction Leadership Council has published guidance on “Site Operating Procedures: Protecting Your Workforce During Coronavirus (Covid-19)“. This guidance is intended to introduce consistent measures on construction sites of all types and sizes in line with the Government’s recommendations on social distancing.

The Office for Product Safety & Standards has published the following guidance: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations OPSS – PPE Legislation Guidance for Businesses; New High-Volume Manufacturers of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Guidance for Businesses; and New Small-Scale Manufacturers of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Guidance for Businesses, Organisations and Individuals.

The UK Government has published “Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy“. Moreover, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has published guidance on “Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)“. This guidance is aimed at helping employers, employees and the self-employed understand how to work safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Safety Group has published new emergency guidance, Covid 19: Working Through This Together – A Practical Guide to Making Workplaces Safer’ (April 2020). This guidance sets out principles and practical steps for employers and employees to keep themselves and their workplaces safe.

The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR 2020 No. 68) entered into force on 24 April 2020 and amend the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016 to ensure workers for whom it is not practicably possible to take holidays due to the coronavirus situation can carry some of their holiday entitlement into the following two leave years. This will protect workers by ensuring they do not lose their holiday entitlement, whilst ensuring that businesses and public sector bodies have the flexibility and staff needed to respond to the coronavirus situation.

The Construction Employers Federation NI (CEFNI) has published “Covid-19: Safety Guidance from the Construction Employers Federation NI (CEFNI) Taskforce“. The Health and Safety Subgroup of the CEF COVID-19 Taskforce has compiled a selection or resources to assist construction companies to operate safely in this new environment.

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a stream of COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements that apply to permitted sites and other industrial establishments. The Regulatory Position Statements are time-limited and will help to minimise risks to the environment and human health where compliance with certain regulatory requirements may not be possible due to coronavirus. These include: COVID-19 RPS: Authorised Waste Facilities – Temporary variation of licence/permit conditions ; COVID-19 RPS: Waste Storage – Temporary Storage and/or Treatment of Waste at a Site That Does Not Hold a Waste Management Licence or Permit ; and COVID-19 RPS: NIEA Temporary Covid 19 Position On Operator Competence For Authorised Waste Facilities 

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has also published temporary Covid-19 Regulatory Position Statements to help the waste sector during this period. Specifically, the Agency has published a Regulatory Position Statement on the “Temporary arrangements for movements of hazardous waste during COVID-19 pandemic“.

With regards to packaging waste, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) on “The Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007 and amendments” in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the difficulties producers of packaging may face in complying with the legislation.

Finally, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) on “Compliance with Water Order Discharge Consents” in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

 

Scotland

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has published a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS): “COVID-19 RPS: Businesses regulated under COMAH” in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has also published the following Regulatory Position Statements (RPS): “COVID-19 RPS: Waste Management (SEPA)” and “COVID-19 RPS: Storage of sewage sludge (SEPA)” in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has published a Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) on “Scotch Whisky Sector – Shutdown/Restart (Trade Effluent)” in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. This Statement relates to the shutdown at short notice and potential start-up of Scotch Whisky production facilities as a consequence of COVID-19.

Tags
Coronavirus , COVID-19 , legislation update , Legislation Updates Ireland , legislation updates UK
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