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Coronavirus Acts: eleventh report to Scottish Parliament (February 2022)

Coronavirus Acts: Eleventh report to Scottish Parliament

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5 Extension and expiry of the Coronavirus Acts

5.1. Part 1 of both Scottish Acts are due to expire at the end of 31 March 2022. We have the power by SSI to extend Part 1 of each of the Scottish Acts to the end of 30 September 2022 as well as the power to expire provisions by SSI that are no longer considered necessary. We continue to be committed to only retaining legislative provisions where they are necessary and proportionate. Further details regarding the SSI proposals for extension and expiry of the Scottish Acts will be confirmed shortly.

5.2 Many provisions of the UK Coronavirus Act are due to expire on 24 March 2022 by virtue of the sunset clause in section 89 of that Act. We have a power to amend the expiry date of the provisions subject to the sunset clause. An SSI was made and laid in Parliament on 3 February 2022 to amend the expiry date of the following provisions of the UK Act to 24 September 2022

  • section 18(2) and Part 2 of schedule 13 (registration of deaths and still-births);
  • section 36 (vaccination and immunisation: Scotland);
  • section 37(2) and Part 2 of schedule 16, except paragraphs 8 and 9 (temporary closure of educational institutions and childcare premises);
  • section 38(2) and Part 2 of schedule 17 (temporary continuity directions etc: education, training and childcare);
  • section 49 (and schedule 19 (health protection regulations: Scotland).

5.3 The other provisions in the UK Act that are due to expire on 24 March 2022 are likely to expire on that date but the position will be kept under review and further regulations will be made if it is considered that other provisions should be retained for a further temporary period.

5.4 The Scottish Government introduced the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill (“the Bill”) to Parliament on 25 January 2022. A number of the provisions contained within the Bill originate from the UK Act and the Scottish Acts.

5.5 The Bill supports the Scottish Government’s Covid Recovery Strategy ‘For a fairer future’, published on 5 October 2021 with a vision to address inequalities made worse by Covid, progressing towards a wellbeing economy, and accelerating inclusive, person-centred public services.

5.6 As part of learning lessons from the Covid pandemic, the purpose of the Bill is to help build resilience against future public health threats. The Bill will also embed reforms in Scotland’s public services and justice system that, though necessitated by the pandemic, have delivered improvements for service users and improved efficiency. Furthermore, the Bill will continue certain temporary justice system provisions on a longer extension basis as a response to the impact of Covid on Scotland’s justice system.

Contact

Email: Covid.leg@gov.scot

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