Twenty Sixth Report Contents

Instruments relating to COVID-19

Changes to business practice and regulation

Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) Regulations 2022 (SI 2022/5)

Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2022 (SI 2022/9)

32.These two instruments enable employers with fewer than 250 employees to apply to HM Revenue and Customs for a refund of the cost of paying Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to their employees, where an employee’s incapacity for work is related to coronavirus. This includes employees who are unwell with coronavirus or are self-isolating or shielding. The temporary scheme is part of the Government’s support package to help businesses deal with the impact of the Omicron variant.17 While SI 2022/5 applies to Great Britain, SI 2022/9 makes provision in relation to Northern Ireland. The maximum amount which an employer may receive as a refund for a single employee is £192.70, the equivalent of two weeks of SSP at the current rate. The refunds will be paid for days of incapacity for work occurring between 21 December 2021 and 24 March 2022, and any claims must be made no later than 24 March 2022.


Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (SI 2022/11)

33.This instrument amends the International Travel Regulations18 to remove a number of the temporary border measures introduced to delay the arrival of the Omicron variant. As Omicron is now the dominant variant domestically, importation from international arrivals is no longer a significant factor in transmission. This amendment removes the requirement for eligible travellers to carry out a pre-departure test and to self-isolate until the receipt of a negative COVID-19 Day 2 test result on the grounds that these measures are no longer proportionate. It also reintroduces the option for eligible travellers to take a Day 2 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test instead of a Day 2 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. Where a Day 2 LFD test is positive, the eligible traveller will still be required self-isolate in accordance with the Self-Isolation Regulations and take a confirmatory PCR test. Additionally, the Regulations expand the lists of approved vaccines and recognised countries for the purposes of vaccine certification.

Public Services

Official Controls (Temporary Measures) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/1491)

34.This instrument extends until 1 July 2022 legislation which allows competent authorities in Great Britain to maintain existing temporary measures related to official controls which are conducted to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products while addressing disruptions arising from the pandemic. According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the instrument will extend current powers allowing control authorities to authorise, within strict parameters, natural persons to undertake official controls and official activities under their instruction by any available means of communication; to allow control authorities to conduct checks on electronically submitted documents rather than hard copies, and to undertake such checks away from the border; and to allow control authorities to conduct meetings with operators by using remote communications. The instrument came into force before being laid before Parliament. Defra says that this was necessary because of the time needed over the Christmas period to obtain consent from the Scottish and Welsh Governments.

17 HM Treasury, ‘COVID-19 economic support package’: [accessed 19 January 2022].

18 Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/582).

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