Thirty Third Report Contents

Instruments relating to COVID-19

Local restrictions and movement between tiers

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local Covid-19 Alert Level) (Medium, High and Very High) (England) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1176)

18.This instrument moves the Warrington Borough Council area from Local Covid Alert Level High (Tier 2) to Very High (Tier 3), for 28 days. The blanket statement of general factors to be considered is cited, rather than any specific explanation being given for moving this area into tighter restrictions. In addition to the baseline business closures set out in the Local Covid Alert Very High Regulations, betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play facilities will also be required to close in Warrington.

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local Covid-19 Alert Level) (Medium, High and Very High) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1183)

19.This instrument moves the following areas in Nottinghamshire from High (Tier 2) to Very High Covid Alert Level (Tier 3) for 28 days: Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Newark & Sherwood and Mansfield District Councils, Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe Borough Councils and Nottingham City Council. The Explanatory Memorandum (EM) states that Local Covid Alert Level Very High is triggered when Local Covid Alert Level High measures have not contained the spread of the virus or where there has been a significant rise in transmission.

20.In addition to the baseline closures provided in the original Tier 3 regulations,9 these Regulations close an extensive list of indoor leisure and tourism activities and personal care services (such as nail bars, tanning salons or tattoo or piercing parlours). The Regulations also prohibit the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises between 21:00 and 05:00 from supermarkets, corner shops, etc. The EM states that the local area predicts that staggered closing times may ease transport pressures associated with the 22:00 closure of pubs and restaurants.

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local Covid-19 Alert Level) (High) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1189)

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local Covid-19 Alert Level) (High) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1192)

21.The Explanatory Memorandum states that, “in response to recent data”, SI 2020/1189 moves a number of local authority areas from various parts of England from Medium (Tier 1) to High Local Alert Level (Tier 2). The Tier 2 restrictions limit social contact, particularly indoor social contact (with the exception of some life events and sporting activities) and are aimed primarily at targeting household to household transmission.

22.The council areas affected are: Amber Valley, Bolsover, Cannock Chase, Charnwood, Derby City, Derbyshire Dales, Dudley, East Riding of Yorkshire, East Staffordshire, High Peak, Hull, Lichfield, Luton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Oxford City, South Derbyshire, South Staffordshire, Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands, Tamworth, and Telford and Wrekin.

23.SI 2020/1192 was made on the same day as the previous instrument to correct an error (Telford and Wrekin Council was originally attributed to Herefordshire rather than Shropshire) and to add Carlisle City Council to the list of areas in Tier 2.

Changes to business practice and regulation

Health Protection (Notification) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1175)

24.Existing Public Health legislation requires diagnostic laboratories and GPs to inform Public Health England (PHE) of suspected cases of notifiable diseases. However, the growing use of “point of care tests” from private providers means data is not being captured. These Regulations require the results of all tests for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) or for the detection of influenza, to be notified to PHE (whether that result is positive, indeterminate, negative, or void). The test provider is required to send with it specified personal information, including phone number and email address where known, to assist with contact tracing.

25.Positive and indeterminate test results for COVID-19 must be reported to PHE within 24 hours, negative and void results for COVID-19 and all results for influenza must be reported within seven days of the result becoming available. The Department for Health and Social Care states that having the full testing history of a patient will also help scientists understand the length of episodes of infection or carriage of the virus and the potential for repeat infection. It will also improve understanding of the transmission risks in communities, workplaces and other settings to inform the public health response to COVID-19.


Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) (Amendment) (No. 20) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1161)

26.This instrument amends the original International Travel Regulations10 to add the Canary Islands, Denmark, Maldives and the Greek island of Mykonos to the list of countries from which passengers arriving in England do not have to self-isolate, with effect from Sunday 25 October 2020. However, from the same date, Liechtenstein is added to the quarantine list.

27.Following the fifth statutory review of the travel restrictions, completed on 19 October 2020, these Regulations also make minor amendments to certain exempt occupations in Schedule 2 and edit the detail in the passenger information to be provided on arrival in England; in particular to provide a seat number and coach number where applicable and to provide a vessel name where appropriate.

Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) (Amendment) (No. 21) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1190)

28.In response to the latest assessment of public health risk data, these Regulations amend the original International Travel Regulations11 to re-impose the 14-day self-isolation requirement on passengers arriving from Cyprus and Lithuania with effect from 1 November 2020.

Public services

National Health Service (Charges and Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1126)

29.This instrument amends existing legislation to meet the year 2 requirements of the five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework. Many of these relate to improved use of Information Technology by pharmacies; others include the introduction of the new Discharge Medicines Service which requires particular monitoring of the first prescription presented post-discharge and requires the pharmacist to raise any issues of concern with the patient or their carer but also with the GP.

30.These Regulations also make certain contingency arrangements related to the COVID-19 pandemic to enable a more flexible provision of immunisation services and the distribution of potential COVID-19 or other pandemic illness treatments through dispensing contractors, should the need arise.

Changes to benefits

Social Security (Coronavirus) (Prisoners) Amendment Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1156)

31.This instrument extends the provisions of the original instrument by six months so that social security benefits remain available in England and Wales to prisoners temporarily released to manage infection during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The provision is now due to expire in May 2021.

Law and Order

Draft Coronavirus Act 2020 (Expiry of Mental Health Provisions) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020

32.This instrument revokes provisions in Schedule 8 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 which would have made temporary changes to certain requirements under the Mental Health Act 1983 (the MHA), so as to maintain a viable service if there were a significant reduction in relevant staffing during the pandemic. These measures included the extension or removal of certain time limits relating to the detention and transfer of patients with mental health conditions and allowing for one, rather than two, doctors to recommend that a person be detained and treated or assessed under the MHA. Both the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee raised objections to the provisions. It was not necessary to use the powers during the first wave and the Department for Health and Social Care states that other means of increasing capacity and resilience have now been introduced. The Minister therefore announced on 30 September that the provisions would be removed in England.12 Certain provisions are also revoked in Wales, but the Welsh government has asked to keep others available as a contingency, during the second wave.

9 Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (Very High) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1105).

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

11 Ibid.

12 HC Deb, 30 September 2020, cols. 392- 393.

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