UK | COVID-19 | Recap of key regulatory changes driven by COVID-19 for the past two week

For the past two weeks, the efforts put forward by officials include the workplace “social-distancing” law in Wales, postponing of by-elections and local referendums, increased social fund of funeral expenses payment and temporary release from prison due to the virus outbreak.

Wales published workplace “social-distancing” law, making COVID restrictions tougher than England. 

Wales published a new public health instrument, which amends The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 and provided one key provision that requires all workplaces take reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of 2 metres is maintained between persons on the premises (except between members of the same household or a carer and person cared for). This provision intrigued wide discussion because once violated, the responsible workplace could be fined. But the enforcement of this legislation is yet to be defined since there could be different ways to interpret “reasonable measure”.

Other restrictions apply to online services of holiday accommodation businesses, places of worships and community centres and even attendance at funerals. All other public-facing businesses and services can remain open but a distance of two metres must be maintained at all-time between the person on the premises and waiting to enter the premises.

Postponement of by-elections and local referendums

In England and Wales, by-elections of councillors, parish councillors, local authority majors, combined authority mayors, Great London Authority and police and crime commissioner by-elections are postponed. In addition, local polls and referendums are also postponed. Any of the above to be held during the period from 16th March 2020 to 5th March 2020.

Increased social fund of funeral expenses payment

For all of UK, amendment to The Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 will increase the amount paid for expenses additional to those listed in the Regulations from £700 to £1,000 for deaths which occur on or after 8th April 2020.

temporary release from prison due to the virus outbreak

England and Wales have made amendments to the Offender Management Act and the Prison and Young offender Institution Rules 2020 to include provisions for the coronavirus restricted temporary release of certain offenders so that they could have a better self-isolation condition. Both Great Britain and Northern Ireland also published social security provisions for these offenders to access means-tested benefits during the period of this release.

To learn more about these changes, refer back to our last COVID regulatory response recap.

Source

W (SI) 2020/399 (W.88) -The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2020

EW (SI) 2020/395 – The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus) (Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020

UK (SI) 2020/405 – The Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payment (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020

EW (A) 2020/401 – The Offender Management Act 2007 (Coronavirus) (Approved Premises) (Amendment) Regulations 2020

EW (SI) 2020/400 – The Prison and Young Offender Institution (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Rules 2020

NI (SI) 2020/63 – The Social Security (Coronavirus) (Prisoners) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020

GB (SI) 2020/409 – The Social Security (Coronavirus) (Prisoners) Regulations 2020

Join our LinkedIn discussion group, COVID-19 HSE Red-on-line Experts Forum, to share your experiences and best practices relative to the novel coronavirus with fellow EHS professionals and the Red-on-line team.

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