COVID-19 legislation and guidance update, January (I)

This post is a rolling update of the relevant new legislation, guidance and commentary on coronavirus COVID-19 from 1 to 17 January 2022 * .


Legislation 

For other recent changes, see Legislation and guidance update – December (II)

England

The Official Controls (Temporary Measures) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2021, SI 2021/1491 and Explanatory Memorandum. These Regulations are made in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 141 of Regulation (EU) 2017/625, which is amended by S.I. 2020/1481. They amend Commission Implementing (EU) Regulation 2020/466 (which is amended by S.I. 2020/1481S.I. 2021/78 and S.I. 2021/681) to extend the period of application of availability of existing easements in the system of official controls in operation in Great Britain, in order to contain risks of serious disruption to the system caused by the coronavirus pandemic, by postponing its expiry date to 1st July 2022.

The Welsh Ministers, in relation to the application of these Regulations in relation to Wales, and the Scottish Ministers, in relation to the application of these Regulations in relation to Scotland, have consented to the Secretary of State making these Regulations.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2022, SI 2022/11. The Regulations amend various provisions of the International Travel Regulations to reintroduce LFD testing as an option for day 2 tests for eligible travellers who arrive in England. Eligible travellers who receive a positive result from an LFD test are required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No. 2) Regulations 2022, SI 2022/15. Makes further provision in relation to entry into the care home, specifically where (a) the person wishing to enter the care home has participated or is participating in a clinical trial; and (b) where the person wishing to enter the care home has not previously been employed or otherwise engaged by the registered person in respect of that regulated activity.

Wales

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Public Health Information to Travellers) (Wales) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2022, WSI 2022/16 (W.8). Amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/574 (W. 132)) and the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Public Health Information for Persons Travelling to Wales etc.) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 2020/595 (W. 136).

The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2022, WSI 2022/39 (W.16). These Regulations amend the principal Regulations to provide that, under the Alert Level 2 restrictions in Schedule 2 to the principal Regulations, up to 500 people may be present at an outdoor event.

Scotland

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (International Travel and Operator Liability) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022, SSI 2022/2. Amendments to the International Travel Regulations including inter alia: the requirement to possess notification of a negative test result on arrival in Scotland does not apply to eligible vaccinated arrivals; the self-isolation requirements will not apply to eligible vaccinated arrivals; enable the use of lateral flow device tests for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in persons who are eligible vaccinated arrivals as an alternative to existing requirements to undertake day 2 polymerase chain reaction tests.

Northern Ireland

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings) (Amendment) (No.8) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021, SR 2021/348. Correction: In regulation 7, “a requirement in regulation 4 or 4A” should read “a requirement in regulation 4, 4A or 4B”

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel, Operator Liability and Information to Passengers) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2022, SR 2022/3. The main changes made by these Regulations are to the rules that apply to eligible non-red list arrivals, i.e. those arrivals to Northern Ireland who are fully vaccinated upon arrival.


Guidance

England

Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing public health information to passengers travelling to or from England. (4 January 2022).

Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result (5 January 2022).

Evidence Summary Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the use of face coverings in education settings January 2022, “The effectiveness of face coverings stems mostly from reducing the emission of these virus-carrying particles when worn by an infected person (source control). They may provide a small amount of protection to an uninfected wearer; however, this is not their primary intended purpose“. DfE, (January 2022).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations. Updated to include the change from 11 January when people in England who receive a positive lateral flow test will be required to self-isolate immediately but will not need to take a confirmatory PCR test. Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Cabinet Office. (11 January 2022).

COVID-19: arranging or attending a funeral or commemorative event  Removes the requirement for people testing positive on an LFD test to have a confirmatory PCR test. (11 January 2022)

Wales

Plan to ease alert level 2 protections announced | GOV.WALES (14 January 2022).

Church in Wales: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance – Update 14 January 2022 The First Minister has signalled that Wales will return to Alert Level Zero from 28 January. Restrictions on the number of people gathering outdoors are being relaxed sooner.


Press Releases

Government takes action to mitigate workforce disruption, The government has taken actions to mitigate workforce disruption cause by Omicron. Press Release, Cabinet Office and The Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP. (2 January 2022).

Testing measures to ensure young people return to classrooms, Press release. On-site Covid lateral flow tests for secondary pupils on return to school, with students and staff encouraged to test twice a week. DfE, DHSC, Office of the Children’s Commissioner (3 January 2021).

Prime Minister reissues call for public to get boosted and announces new critical workforce testing measures. The Prime Minister today updated the public on the government’s ongoing actions to tackle COVID-19 and prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, including implementing Plan B measures, standing up local Nightingales to create extra capacity, buying more antivirals per person than anywhere else in Europe, significantly increasing testing capacity and rolling out the vital booster programme. Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, (4 January 2021).

PM opening statement at COVID-19 press conference: 4 January 2022. Press Release. Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a COVID-19 press conference. (5 January 2022).

Confirmatory PCR tests to be temporarily suspended for positive lateral flow test results. Press Release. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announces temporary changes to confirmatory PCR tests. (5 January 2022).

PM statement to the House of Commons on COVID-19: 5 January 2022. Oral statement to Parliament. (5 January 2022).


Case law

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v AH [2021] EWCOP 64. See COVID-19 and end of life care: AH, infra 


Other information

BMJ: Covid-19: Is it safe to reduce the self-isolation period? (30 December 2021).

BMJ Opinion. Covid-19: An urgent call for global “vaccines-plus” action – An open letter by a group of public health expertscliniciansscientists, some of whom are members of Independent SAGE. The letter calls for: 1. Unequivocally declaration that COVID is airborne; 2. High-quality masks in all indoor spaces; 3. Improved air quality in public buildings; 4. Setting of criteria for introducing/relaxing measures as case numbers rise/fall 5. Strive for global vaccine equity. (3 January 2022). 

BMJ: Covid-19: Fact check—how many patients in hospital are unvaccinated? (4 January 2022).

HSE: Continuing to keep workplaces safe from coronavirus (COVID-19), Next review due: 30 January 2022, (6 January 2022).

Peng et al, Environmental Science and Technology: Practical Indicators for Risk of Airborne Transmission in Shared Indoor Environments and Their Application to COVID-19 Outbreaks. A model of airborne disease transmission through shared-room air is shown to explain literature outbreaks and can help guide mitigations. (5 January 2022).


Church of England

No new guidance since 10 December 2021.


Law and Religion UK

Law and religion round-up – 2 January. (Covid-related) “Standing orders” in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Law and religion round-up – 9 January Guidance for the safe use of places of worship, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Cabinet Office. §

COVID-19 and end of life care: AHCase note on Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v AH [2021] EWCOP 64, AH was a 56-year-old woman, in intensive care with severe symptoms from COVID-19 since December 2020 and whether she should have her ventilation withdrawn and be allowed to die. (10 January 2022).

COVID-19: Church in Wales update, (14 January 2022).


§ Post last updated 15 January 10:54.


* Information on COVID-19 on L&RUK

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.

A summary of information on the COVID-19: Omicron variant was posted on 30 November 2021.

Church of England documents

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.

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Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "COVID-19 legislation and guidance update, January (I)" in Law & Religion UK, 31 December 2021, https://lawandreligionuk.com/2021/12/31/covid-19-legislation-and-guidance-update-january-i/

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