Coronavirus Acts: fourth report to Scottish Parliament (December 2020)

Fourth two-monthly report to Scottish Parliament on the use of the powers contained within the Coronavirus Act 2020, Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020 covering the reporting period up to 30 November 2020.

2. Background

Reporting requirements

2.1. The UK Act received Royal Assent on 25 March 2020. The Scottish Parliament gave its consent to the provisions of the UK Act as far as they relate to devolved matters on 24 March 2020.

2.2. Section 97 of the UK Act sets out the requirements for the UK Government to report on the status of non-devolved provisions within the UK Act every two months.

2.3. The UK Act does not set out an equivalent statutory requirement for reporting by the Scottish Government or other Devolved Administrations. However, as per the approach in our previous reports to the Scottish Parliament, in this fourth report we have included information on the provisions of the UK Act for which the Scottish Parliament gave legislative consent, in a manner which is consistent with the reporting arrangements for Part 1 of both of the Scottish Acts.

Extension and expiry of the Scottish Acts

2.4. Under section 12 of the first Scottish Act and section 9 of the second Scottish Act, Part 1 of both Acts were due to expire on 30 September 2020, the end of the third reporting period.

2.5. Part 1 of the Scottish Acts could only be extended in their entirety and not on a provision by provision basis. On 24 August 2020, the Coronavirus (Scotland) Acts (Amendment of Expiry Dates) Regulations 2020[4] (the ‘extension regulations’) were laid in draft before the Parliament, a Statement of Reasons[5] for the regulations having already been laid. The Coronavirus (Scotland) Acts (Early Expiry of Provisions) Regulations 2020[6] (the ‘expiry regulations’) were laid in Parliament on the same day and both sets of regulations came into force on 29 September 2020.

2.6. The extension regulations extended the expiry date of Part 1 of both Scottish Acts to 31 March 2021. The expiry regulations expired provisions of those Acts which were no longer required beyond 29 September 2020.

2.7. Further information is included within the Policy Notes which accompanied the regulations, and in the Statement of Reasons which was published on the Scottish Government’s website. Table One of this report includes information on which provisions of Parts 1 of the Scottish Acts have been expired and suspended.



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