These weekly updates on the legislation and guidance on coronavirus COVID-19 are intended as a quick reference to the latest developments. New items will be added throughout each week as they become available, and included in COVID-19 Coronavirus: legislation and guidance which is now the main source of information; the updates for the earlier weeks are here.
Sunday 22 November to Saturday 28 November
Under Regulation 23 Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England)(No. 4) Regulations 2020, SI 2020/1200, the current lockdown in England will cease automatically at the end of Wednesday 2 December. However, Regulation 25 revoked the three separate Regulations relating to the Medium, High, and Very High Alert levels, other than Schedule 3 within each of these Regulations (SI 2020/1103, SI 2020/1104, and SI 2020/1105 as amended) Consequently, new three tier regulations will have to be brought into force to implement the COVID-19 Winter Plan, summarized in our post, below.
The government has been under continued pressure on the lack of parliamentary scrutiny on coronavirus-related legislation, and since first set of three tiers regulations was introduced, it has stated that it would place further regulations before parliament prior to them coming into force. Motions “to approve regulations related to public health” are scheduled in both Houses for 1 December. This raises two issues regarding the possible outcomes: the overlap of new legislation if it is brought in to be effective on 2 December, as indicated in the Winter Plan; contingency measure if no parliamentary agreement is reached before the current legislation expires.
Guidance/Communications on lockdown post 2 December
- Joint statement on UK-wide Christmas arrangements from the UK Government and Devolved Administrations, Cabinet Office Press release, 24 November 2020.
- UK-wide Christmas arrangements agreed by the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations, Cabinet Office and The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Press Release, 24 November 2020.
- PM statement on COVID-19 Winter Plan: 23 November 2020.
- COVID-19 Winter Plan, 23 November 2020.
- Local restriction tiers: what you need to know. Sets out the local restriction tier system that will be in place from Wednesday 2 December, including what you can and cannot do in each tier. DHSC. 23 November 2020.
- Tier posters: Medium, High and Very High, Cabinet Office, 23 November 2020.
Law and Religion UK
- Cabinet Office statement on “Christmas bubbles”, 24 November 2020.
- Welsh Government: updated guidance on COVID-19, 23 November 2020.
- UK Government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan for England, 23 November 2020.
- Law and religion round-up – 22 November. COVID-19: challenging the lockdown; Santa’s clauses are coming to town.
Church of England
Monday 23 November
- Following the publication of the Government’s Covid-19 Winter Plan, including permission for the resumption of public worship, we are awaiting the publication of detailed guidance after which we will update our advice. There is an additional statement from the Bishop of London.
- General Synod debate on the response to the covid-19 pandemic (GS 2192) at the end of which motion passed by 401 votes to 4 with 8 recorded abstentions.
Other churches and faith organizations
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 4) Regulations 2020, SSI 2020/392. Local authority area of East Lothian, making it subject to level 2 restrictions and requirements, rather than level 3.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 5) Regulations 2020, SSI 2020/400. Regulation 3 adds a new definition of “end of term household” into regulation 2 of the principal regulations and specifies that end of term households are to be treated as a single household for the purposes of the principal regulations, for instance in relation to the gatherings restrictions. Regulations 4 to 6 amend schedules 4, 5 and 7A of the principal regulations to add facilitating the formation of an end of term household to the list of examples of a purpose for which a contravention of the travel restrictions in Level 3 or 4 areas, or within the common travel area, will constitute a reasonable excuse.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (Amendment No. 17) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020, SR 2020/287. Regulation 2(2) extends the active period during which the restrictions in schedule 2 apply to 10 December 2020. Regulation 2(11) requires places of worship to close with a number of exemptions. §
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2)(Amendment No. 18) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020, SR 2020/290. The amendment in regulation 2(2) of these Regulations increases the number of persons who can attend a place of worship for the purpose of recording or live streaming an act of worship to no more than 8 person (form 4 persons).§
- Updates and resources (updated 20 November 2020), Scottish Episcopal Church. (as at 28 November 2020). §
- Coronavirus related Legislation: Briefing for churches in Wales, Cytûn. (23 November).
- CCCBR, 20 November. There has been no change in guidance since the 8th November update.
- RSCM, Covid-19 resources for churches, (updated 12 November).
§ – item to be added to COVID-19 Coronavirus: legislation and guidance.
Post last updated, 28 November at 17:40.