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UK and Ireland: COVID-19 – Legislation and Guidance Update

Health & Safety, Legislation Update

(This blog post covers legislation & guidance relating to COVID-19 between 3rd November 2020– 7th January 2021)

covid-19 vaccine

United Kingdom


The Environment Agency has published the following COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements (RPS): Accumulating radioactive waste that you cannot transfer because of COVID-19 (RPS C13), Monitoring emissions from some environmental permitting activities (RPS C20) and Reporting for installations, radioactive substances and waste permits (RPS C21)

The Personal Protective Equipment (Temporary Arrangements) (Coronavirus) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1484) and the Personal Protective Equipment (Temporary Arrangements) (Coronavirus) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1489 (W. 318)) continue temporary regulatory arrangements to facilitate the production and supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 pandemic. These Regulations relax the legislative requirements for conformity assessment for certain categories of PPE for a limited time in order to increase the supply of essential Covid-19-related PPE on the UK market.

The Human Medicines (Coronavirus) (Further Amendments) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1594) deal with legal issues which have emerged in the early stages of the mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19. The changes are time limited so that they expire on 1st April 2022.


The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Liability for Wrongful Trading and Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020 No. 1349) temporarily suspend liability under wrongful trading provisions in the Insolvency Act 1986 (c. 45). In addition, these Regulations extend the period within which temporary modifications to laws relating to the holding of meetings made by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 are to have effect for certain qualifying bodies.

Northern Ireland

The Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week’s Pay) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR 2020 No. 281) ensures various statutory entitlements based on a week’s pay and connected with termination of employment are not reduced as a result of an employee being furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which is extended until 31 March 2021.  

The Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment No. 2) (Coronavirus) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (SR 2020 No. 299) amend the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 in order to further extend the validity of driving theory test pass certificates given the current suspension of practical testing due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) public health emergency.


The Health and Safety Authority published Guidance on Working from Home for Employers and Employees; attached to this Guidance is a homeworking risk assessment and checklist to assist organisations in the safe management of homeworking. Moreover, the Government of Ireland has published a Remote Working Checklist for Employers.

The Health Act 1947 (Fixed Payment Notice and Dwelling Event Provisions) (Covid-19) Regulations 2020 (SI No. 536 of 2020) make provision for fixed penalties in relation to breaches of COVID-19 restrictions pertaining to face coverings, restrictions of movement, dwelling events and other events. There are no direct obligations for industry under these Regulations.          

The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A –Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (Face Coverings in Certain Premises and Businesses) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 (SI No. 571 of 2020) provide for the requirement that people working in customer facing roles in premises where the principal activity is the sale of food or beverages for consumption on the premises wear face coverings unless they have a reasonable excuse.

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