This post includes a rolling update of new legislation and guidance on coronavirus COVID-19 during November 2021*. More detailed information on the Omicron virus is available in the Law and religion round-up – 28th November and in our post COVID-19: Omicron variant.
- The Births and Deaths Registration (Electronic Communications and Electronic Storage) Order 2021, SI 2021/1231. The Coronavirus Act 2020 amended the 1953 Act to put easements in place for the registration of deaths and allowed paper-based processes to be carried out electronically during the pandemic. The Order extends these beyond the “sunset clause” iin the 2000 Act.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings) (England) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/1340. These Regulations require members of the public to wear face coverings whilst inside a relevant place specified in the Regulations, or whilst using public transport (such as buses, trains, the London Underground, trams, aircraft and water taxis) in England, to protect against the risks to public health arising from coronavirus, except in certain limited cases. They also require businesses in places where wearing a face covering is required to display notices giving information about that requirement, and prohibit persons carrying on business in specified locations from preventing anyone from wearing a face covering, except in limited circumstances.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/1338 . These Regulations amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 to provide that: (a)where an adult is a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and is suspected of, or confirmed as, having an Omicron variant, the exemptions from the duty to self-isolate (for those who are participating in coronavirus related research, fully vaccinated, participating in a clinical vaccine trial, or clinically unable to be vaccinated) do not apply; (b)children who are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and is suspected of, or confirmed as, having an Omicron variant must self-isolate.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) (Amendment) (No. 19) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/1323.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) (Amendment) (No. 20) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/1331.
Red List countries include: Botswana; Eswatini; Lesotho; Namibia; South Africa; Zimbabwe; Angola; Malawi; Mozambique; and Zambia. The Guidance Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel if you’ve been in a red list country was updated on 28 November 2021.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) (Amendment) (No. 21) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/1339. Amend the International Travel Regulations to require eligible travellers arriving in England to book and undertake a PCR test to be taken by the second day after they arrive and to self-isolate until they have received a negative result to the test. They also require test providers to notify the United Kingdom Health Security Agency and persons taking tests if they have, or are suspected to have, contracted the variant of coronavirus known as “the Omicron variant”.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Public Health Information to Travellers) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2021, WSI 2021/1342 (W.346). These Regulations amend the International Travel Regulations so as to provide day 2 PCR testing and isolation requirements in relation to “regulation 2A travellers”.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (International Travel and Operator Liability) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 10) Regulations 2021, SSI 2021/443. This instrument requires that all eligible vaccinated travellers from non-red list countries arriving into Scotland purchase and take a Polymerase Chain Reaction (“PCR”) COVID-19 test by the end of day two following their arrival as opposed to using a Lateral Flow Device (“LFD”) test. All eligible vaccinated travellers are required to self-isolate at a specified address until the results are known. The need to continue to isolate is dependent on the result.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (2021 Consolidation) (Amendment No. 10) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021, SR 2021/313. Changes relating to Angola and Zambia.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel,Operator Liability and Information to Passengers) (Amendment No. 10) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021, SR 2021/316. Testing regime for eligible non-red list arrivals, and self-isolation regime for eligible non-red list arrivals.
- The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (2021 Consolidation) (Amendment No. 8) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021, SR 2021/293 The amendments provide for the use of LFD tests and the consequences of the results of such tests.
- NHS COVID Pass, Department of Health and Social Care, (updated 26 November). From 19 November, you can see details of your COVID-19 booster vaccination in your NHS COVID Pass.
- COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021. The government’s Plan A for managing COVID-19 in autumn and winter 2021/22 in England, and a Plan B that would only be used if it was needed to protect the NHS. (Updated 9 November 2021).
- Measures against Omicron variant come into effect: 30 November 2021, Prime Minister’s Office, (30 November 2021).
- Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19), DfT and DHSC, (30 November 2021).
- Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread, Cabinet Office, (30 November 2021).
- Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make one, DHSC and Cabinet Office, (30 November 2021).
- Enabling safe and effective volunteering during coronavirus (COVID-19), DDCMS, (30 November 2021).
- The government’s preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic: lessons for government on risk management, National Audit Office, (17 November 2021).
- Adam Wagner: Table of COVID-19 Lockdown Regulations and other resources, updated 27 November 2021.
Church of England‡
Following the publication of Government guidance on face coverings, advice for churches has been updated.
- Updated guidance on opening churches – COVID-19 Opening and managing church buildings, v 2.2.
- Comment from the Bishop of London – Press Release: Omicron variant of Covid-19, (29/11/2021).
Update: Thursday 11th November, 15.00
- New FAQ: How do we keep buildings well ventilated in Winter?
The government recommends following guidance from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers. Section 5 of this guidance is particularly relevant for church buildings and parish halls.
Updated: Wednesday 3rd November, 11.48
At present, incidence of the virus is high, though Government statistics tentatively point to it beginning to decrease. Largely due to the success of the vaccination programme, hospitalisations and deaths remain at a much lower level than at similar points during the pandemic, but the continuation of this will be dependent on a good uptake of booster vaccinations.
However, vaccination cannot be the sole means of containing the spread of the virus: hand and respiratory hygiene, social distancing, face-coverings and good ventilation are also important factors in lessening the spread of the disease. While these are not mandatory, they are still important public health mitigations and can help to minimise risk when planning public worship and other church activities.§
- Opening and managing church buildings, V2.1, (2 November 2021). Update on version 2.0: The current situation report has been updated and in the section on Holy Communion the wording regarding the administration has been changed to reflect a potential increase in infection risk from 1) the communicant can receive the bread alone; 2) the president may dip the bread in the wine before giving to the communicant; 3) the communicant can receive wine from the common cup in the way they did so before the pandemic.
Law and Religion UK
- Law and religion round-up – 31st October. No COVID-19 related items, except (indirectly) an update on individual cups for Holy Communion.
- Electronic registration of births and deaths, England and Wales, (5 November 2021). See Legislation, supra
- Law and religion round-up – 7 November. COVID-19 and the Church of England.
- Law and religion round-up – 14th November, No COVID-related items, (14 November 2021).
- Law and religion round-up – 21st November, Vaccine passports for churches and cathedrals, (21 November 2021).
- Law and religion round-up – 28th November, Omicron variant of COVID-19; Omicron variant and the churches. (28 November 2021).
Post last updated, 6 December at 15:22.
These updates are now published at the start of each month; they are not reissued, but new items are added as they become available, providing a “rolling update” of the latest developments. They are also added to COVID-19 Coronavirus: legislation and guidance which is the main source of information, and listed with the newest items last (unlike the CofE documents, infra); items in the monthly updates yet to be added are marked “§“. Earlier updates are here.
Church of England documents are listed under their full title and issue number, in the same order as they appear on the Church’s web site.