This post includes a rolling update of new legislation and guidance on coronavirus COVID-19 during April 2022 *.
On 27 March, we noted that the numbers of People tested positive and Hospital admissions were steeply rising, unlike in late January 2022, when most of the faith bodies formulated their guidance on places of worship. Latest ONS data (for W/E 2 April) indicate that In England and Wales, the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase, although the trend was uncertain for Scotland and Northern Ireland. On 4 April, Scotland had more people in hospital with COVID-19 than at any point during the pandemic. Professor. Christina Pagel noted that the gap between data on UK daily cases and that on ONS infection survey was very large, and was likely to increase in the absence of free Lateral Flow Tests (in England); for daily data she recommended using UK data on hospital admissions, and for weekly, ONS data.
In England, ONS data for the week ending 9 April 2022 indicated that the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) decreased in the week ending 9 April 2022; in Wales, this remained high in the most recent week: in Northern Ireland, the trend decreased; and in Scotland, it continued to decrease.
On 22 April 2022, Dr. Deepti Gurdasani posted a tweeter thread providing an update on the current situation with COVID in the UK. Briefly, infection rates are dropping, but remain very high; hospitalisations too are dropping, but remain high; there are significant levels of hospital acquired infection; and unprecedented pressures on emergency & routine services; long COVID is a huge issue.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 9) Regulations 2022, WSI 2022/450 (W.109). The amendments: i] provide that the principal Regulations expire at the end of the day on 9 May 2022 (rather than 18 April 2022); ii] omit Part 4 of the principal Regulations, which requires persons responsible for regulated premises to take all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus at the premises (but Welsh Government guidance on minimising the risk of the transmission of coronavirus remains relevant).
The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Requirements) (Scotland) Revocation (No. 2) Regulations 2022, SSI 2022/133. These Regulations remove the requirement on persons to wear a face covering in certain indoor public places and on public transport (regulations 5, 6 and 7 of the Principal Regulations). The enforcement provisions (regulations 15, 16 and 17 of the Principal Regulations), which provided for enforcement of the requirement, offences and penalties, and fixed penalty notices, are also revoked.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance. Guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health and social care settings, other non-clinical settings, and for the general public. UK Health Security Agency. (1 April 2022).
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms in adults, NHS, (1 April 2022, next reviewed on 15 April 2022)
Supreme Court UK
Lord Reed has officially rescinded the ‘Covid Practice Note’, 30 March 2022. Lord Reed has officially rescinded the ‘Covid Practice Note’ issued during the Coronavirus pandemic and issued a new Practice Note dated March 2022. This Practice Note clearly sets out the practices from the pandemic that are retained by the Court, and where the practice will revert to the Rules and Practice Directions.
Please see the new Practice Note here.
Church of England‡
No new material. Links to documents updated on 21 March 2022, infra, plus links to:
- COVID-19: Live streaming Worship, v1.1, 8 December 2020.
- Mental and Emotional Wellbeing and the Church: Some Helpful Resources: March 2021.
and much earlier material prepared by The Liturgical Commission:
Updated: 21 March 2pm
The following documents have been updated to reflect the latest Government advice:
- COVID-19: Opening and managing church buildings, v3, (21 March 2022). This is an update on version 2.4: “The Government has published its plan for living with COVID-19 and from the 24th February has removed the remaining restrictions put in place to manage the pandemic. This update provides the most recent references to remaining guidance to help churches make decisions that continue to balance provision of services with care for the vulnerable”.
- Risk Assessment Template for Opening Church Buildings to the Public, v11. (21 March 2022). “This update has been reviewed to reflect the removal of restrictions from 24th February 2022 and the publication of the Government’s Living With Covid guidance. The Church of England’s guidance may also be a helpful reference point”.
Church in Wales
- Update: 14th April 2022: Welsh Government has announced that as from 18 April 2022, legal restrictions under The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 will be removed (except for the requirement to wear face coverings in health and care settings).
- Regulations for places of worship in Wales until at least April 18 2022 (Level 0 restrictions). This notes that the Welsh Government is considering lifting all legal restrictions from April 18 2022, but due to Easter holidays, it will not be possible for Cytûn to update this page until April 25 2022.
Covid information for churches, On April 18 2022 all but one of the Covid-19 regulations made by Welsh Government under the Public Health Act 1984 were suspended. The single remaining exception is the requirement to wear face coverings in health and social care settings – which would include in places of worship and community centres when being used for such purposes, (25 April 2022).
Other guidance for faith bodies
Similarly, the advice for England from the Roman Catholic Church and other organizations such as the RSCM and CCCBR is unchanged from January 2022. The CCCBR guidance for Wales has been updated in relation to the wearing of face coverings, and the Bishops’ Conference January Guidance includes a link to government guidance on future changes in Wales from 28 March and 18 April.
Comment and Analysis
- National Police Chiefs’ Council: Update on Coronavirus FPNs issued by forces in England and Wales, and the payment of FPNs. (16 March 2022).
- Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health: BMJ Opinion If we are no longer “following the science,” what are we following? (7 April 2022).
- Coronavirus and self-isolation after testing positive in England: 17 to 26 March 2022, Includes information on the impact of self-isolation on well-being and finances. ONS, (20 April 2022).
Law and Religion UK
- Law and religion round-up – 3 April 2022: No COVID-19 content.
- Law and religion round-up – 10th April: COVID-19 legislation and guidance, noting the paucity of new guidance.
- Law and religion round-up – 17th April: No COVID-19 content.
Post last updated, 27 April 2022 at 10:19.
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.