Twenty-Third Report Contents

Instruments relating to COVID-19

Restrictions on businesses and public gatherings

Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Public Health Information) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/691)

2.The International Travel Regulations2 (“the original regulations”) were made on an emergency basis to reduce the likelihood of an increase in COVID-19 infections from imported cases, by requiring all passengers coming from outside the Common Travel Area to self-isolate for 14 days. Following the first review on 29 June, these Regulations insert a new Schedule A1 which lists exempted countries and sporting events to which this requirement will not apply. The list in Schedule A1 will be subject to on-going review and further countries will be added or removed on the basis of their risk status. Consequential amendments are also made to the Passenger Locator Form to ask people for the details of which countries or territories they have visited in the last 14 days. People who were in a non-exempt country within the last 14 days, but have travelled from an exempt country, will need to self-isolate for the ‘balance’ of 14 days after their arrival, counted from the time they were last in a non-exempt country. These Regulations apply to passengers arriving in England and are subject to statutory review every 28 days; they amend the original regulations which will lapse 12 months after coming into force.

Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/724)

3.Following revised information from Public Health England, these Regulations further amend SI 2020/568 (and SI 2020/691 above) to remove Serbia from the list of exempt countries (so passengers arriving in England from Serbia will now have to self-isolate for 14 days).

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/719)

4.These Regulations amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 20203 to permit the reopening of outdoor swimming pools and water parks (from 11 July 2020) and nail bars and salons, tanning booths and salons, spas and beauty salons, massage parlours, tattoo parlours, and body and skin piercing services (from 13 July 2020).

Changes to business practice and regulation

Charitable Incorporated Organisations (Insolvency and Dissolution) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/710)

5.This instrument makes changes to ensure that the new free-standing moratorium during which no legal action can be taken against a company or certain other corporate entities without leave of the court, introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020, can apply effectively to charitable incorporated organisations. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) explains that the moratorium provision is being implemented immediately to ensure that relevant corporate entities which are struggling as a direct result of the pandemic are given the opportunity to survive by providing a formal breathing space to pursue a rescue plan free from creditor action. According to DCMS, there are around 22,500 charitable incorporated organisations on the register of charities in England and Wales.

Changes to benefits

Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/712)

6.This instrument makes a temporary change to the maximum income threshold eligibility criterion for free childcare for working parents of three and four-year olds set out in the Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) Regulations (“the 2016 Regulations”), commonly referred to as “30 hours free childcare”. According to the Department for Education (DfE), the change aims to ensure that critical workers who exceed the maximum income threshold set out in the 2016 Regulations due to an income that has increased as a result of work undertaken in relation to the pandemic can continue to take up 30 hours of free childcare. The change will be effective only for the tax year from 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021. The instrument complements an earlier instrument which made changes to the income thresholds to ensure consistency with the Tax Free Childcare scheme.4 DfE says that it has also suspended temporarily the minimum income eligibility criterion for 30 hours free childcare which requires each parent in a two parent family, or a sole parent, to earn the equivalent of a weekly minimum of 16 hours at national minimum wage or national living wage. According to DfE, the temporary suspension does not require legislative change and will help to minimise the impact of the pandemic on lower earning families who would ordinarily be eligible but who have lost income due to the pandemic.

2 Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/568).

3 Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/684).

4 Childcare Payments (Coronavirus and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/656), see: 22nd Report, Session 2019-21 (HL Paper 104).

© Parliamentary copyright 2018