(This blog post covers some of predominate legislation & guidance between 18th July – 15 September 2020)
The Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No.3) Regulations 2020 (SI No. 293 of 2020) apply from 11 August 2020 and cease to have effect on the day on which Part 3 of the Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Act 2020 (No. 1 of 2020) ceases to have effect. The Regulations provide for construction, erection or alteration of temporary awnings, marquees, portable cabins or covered pedestrian or set down areas connected with the management of airport passenger movement in a State airport for purposes connected with the prevention of transmission of Covid-19.
The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A – Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (Face Coverings in Certain Premises and Businesses) Regulations 2020 (SI No. 296 No. 2020) require the wearing of face coverings in certain premises. A person shall not, without reasonable excuse, enter or remain in premises where goods are sold directly to the public or premises\ set out in the Schedule to the Regulations, without wearing a face covering. The Regulations do not apply to children aged under 13 years.
The Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2020 (SI No. 299 of 2020) amend the Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations 2006 (SI No. 537 of 2006) to provide an extension to the validity of certain driving licences during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Driving licences that expired or are due to expire between 1 March 2020 and 31 August 2020 have been extended for 7 months. The date of expiry for these licences shall be 7 months after the expiry date specified on the licence.
The Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Act 2020 (No. 8 of 2020), introduced on 1 August 2020, provides for the imposition, repeal, remission, alteration and regulation of taxation and make further provision in connection with finance. It amends the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 which introduced the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). This has been replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) from 31 August 2020. Furthermore, Revenue has published “Guidelines on the Operation of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme”.
The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 734) amend the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (“the SEA Regulations”), which apply in England, on a temporary basis from 16th July 2020 until 31st December 2020. The Regulations modify requirements placed on responsible authorities and the Secretary of State for documents relating to strategic environmental assessment to be available for physical inspection by members of the public at an address, for consultees to be informed of that address and for a copy of those documents to be available to be obtained from that address.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has published guidance on “Coronavirus (COVID-19): disposing of waste“. This guidance provides information on how to dispose of personal or business waste, including face coverings and personal protective equipment (PPE), during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Business and Planning Act 2020 (2020 c. 16) supports economic recovery and growth as the UK recovers from the disruption caused by COVID-19. The Act includes a range of measures to help businesses adjust to new ways of working as the country recovers from disruption caused by Covid-19. In relation to planning, the Act makes temporary changes to the law in England, as well as new, permanent provision for certain planning proceedings in England to be considered by means of more than one procedure. This will ensure that the planning system can continue to operate effectively and support the planning and safe construction of new development following the impact of Covid-19.
The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (2020 c. 12) make provision about companies and other entities in financial difficulty and includes temporary measures aimed at easing some of the most pressing consequences businesses may be experiencing as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.. The Act makes temporary changes to the law relating to the governance and regulation of companies and other entities.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 791) require members of the public to wear face coverings, from 24 July 2020, while inside shops, shopping centres and transports hubs in England, to protect against the risks to public health arising from coronavirus, except in certain limited cases. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 839) require members of the public to wear face coverings in additional indoor premises in England, from 8 August 2020.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR 2020 No. 151) require members of the public, subject to limited exceptions, to wear face coverings on public transport to protect against the risks to public health arising from coronavirus. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR 2020 No. 164) require members of the public to wear face coverings whilst inside shops and enclosed shopping centres in order to protect against the risks to public health arising from coronavirus, except in certain limited cases.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020 No. 279) adjust the restriction on parties in private dwellings to ensure student accommodation is appropriately covered by the existing restrictions. The Regulations introduce new restrictions on public and private gatherings, setting out that gatherings of no more than 6 people from no more than 2 households are restricted, with the exception of some limited circumstances. The Regulations also adjust the previous provisions relating to face coverings to ensure that customers and staff are required to wear face coverings, in certain circumstances, within a hospitality venue.