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Government publishes Coronavirus Bill

The government has published the Coronavirus Bill with provisions covering areas such as the emergency registration of social workers, the suspension of most local authority social care obligations, the closure of educational institutions and the postponement of elections.

The Bill, which can be viewed here, covers amongst other things:

  • The emergency registration of health professionals;
  • Temporary registration of social workers;
  • Emergency volunteers: emergency volunteering leave; compensation for emergency volunteers;
  • Temporary modification of mental health and mental capacity legislation;
  • NHS and local authority care and support: NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments (England); local authority care and support; duty of local authority to assess needs (Scotland); further provision in Scotland;
  • Registration of deaths and still-births;
  • Schools, childcare providers: Temporary closure of educational institutions; temporary continuity – education, training and childcare;
  • Statutory sick pay;
  • Powers relating to potentially infectious persons;
  • Powers to issue directions relating to events, gatherings and premises;
  • Courts and tribunals: use of video and audio technology;
  • Powers in relation to bodies;
  • Postponement of elections, referendums, recall petitions and canvass;
  • Postponement of elections: Wales; Scotland.

MPs will consider the Bill at Second Reading on Monday, 23 March. If the Business of the House Motion is approved, Committee of the Whole House stage and 3rd reading will also be taken.

It is proposed that the powers in the Bill are time limited to two years.