The Scottish Government’s priorities are to continue to lead Scotland safely through and out of the covid pandemic and to address the inequalities made worse by covid, making progress towards a wellbeing economy, and accelerating inclusive, person-centred public services.
As part of learning from the covid pandemic, we are committed to reviewing the impact of covid on the Scottish statute book. We want to ensure we remove measures no longer needed in order to respond to the pandemic, whilst keeping those that, though necessitated by the pandemic, have delivered improvements.
We have launched a consultation focusing on reviewing the legislative powers that have supported our response to covid. It begins with discussion of our ambitions for covid recovery and ends with an open question, inviting comments on the action that respondents think is required to support a fair, safe and secure recovery.
Our consultation is titled 'Covid recovery: a consultation on public health, public services and justice system reforms' and runs for 12 weeks until 9 November 2021. It can be found on our consultation portal. Please also see our news release for the consultation launch. In our Programme for Government 2021-22 we announced that we will introduce a Covid Recovery Bill this parliamentary year, following analysis of consultation responses.
Other relevant coronavirus materials
Our Carer's Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 7 October 2021 and ensures carers in Scotland who get Carer’s Allowance Supplement will receive a further Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance supplement, by way of an increased payment of the their Carer’s Allowance Supplement, in December 2021. The bill also contains an enabling provision that allows for a more flexible approach to future payments should this be required. See the news release for the introduction of the Bill and the news release for the bill passing.
We recently consulted on a Covid (Compensation for Self-Isolation) Bill to support health boards’ response to Covid and management of their compensation duties during the pandemic. Our four-week consultation, which ended on 24 September 2021, can be found on our consultation portal.
We announced on 23 June 2021 that we intended to take measures to rule out Covid appeals on non-domestic properties on the basis that market-wide economic changes to rateable values, such as from Covid, should only be considered at revaluation in order to ensure fairness to all ratepayers, and that it is not appropriate to use the material change of circumstances provisions in the non-domestic rates legislation in relation to Covid, or Covid restrictions. Our Programme for Government announced that we will introduce the Non‑Domestic Rates Covid Appeals (Scotland) Bill to this effect.
The Scottish Coronavirus Acts
The Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Act 2021 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 24 June 2021. The Scottish Parliament has published information, including the policy memorandum and other accompanying documents for the bill. Please also see our news release for the bill passing.
The Extension and Expiry Act builds on the Scottish Coronavirus Acts which are the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020, passed on 1 April 2020, and the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020, passed on 20 May 2020. The Extension and Expiry Act removes (expires) provisions from these Acts that are no longer required and extends those still required until the end of March 2022, with the possibility of further extension to the end of September 2022, subject to the agreement of the Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish Coronavirus Acts are complemented by the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (the “UK act”) applicable to Scotland for which the Scottish Parliament gave legislative consent.
Reports on coronavirus legislation
We publish reports every two months on provisions in the Scottish coronavirus acts and the UK act, plus secondary legislation (regulations) whose main purpose is coronavirus related.
A special report was published under the Extension and Expiry Act in September 2021 on our response to the pandemic, including measures on marriage ceremonies and civil partnerships, support for businesses and a range of other policy areas:
- Coronavirus Acts: ninth report to Scottish Parliament - October 2021
- The Coronavirus (Extension And Expiry) (Scotland) Act 2021: report to the Scottish Parliament (September 2021)
- Coronavirus Acts: eighth report To Scottish Parliament (August 2021)
- Coronavirus Acts: seventh report to Scottish Parliament (June 2021)
- Coronavirus Acts: sixth report to Scottish Parliament (April 2021)
- Coronavirus Acts: fifth report to Scottish Parliament (February 2021)
- Coronavirus Acts: fourth report to Scottish Parliament (December 2020)
- Coronavirus Acts: third report to Scottish Parliament (October 2020)
- Coronavirus Acts: second report to Scottish Parliament (August 2020)
- Coronavirus Acts: first report to Scottish Parliament (June 2020)
We published four impact assessments in June 2021 to accompany the introduction of the Bill for the Extension and Expiry Act:
- Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill: equality impact assessment
- Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill: child rights and wellbeing impact assessment
- Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry)(Scotland) Bill: business and regulatory impact assessment
- Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill: fairer Scotland duty assessment