In August 2020, Northampton saw an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. A large number of these transmissions were traced back to the Greencore factory in Northampton. On 21 August 2020, workers and their households were told to self-isolate for 14 days to limit the risk of further spread of the disease in the community, and to avoid a local lockdown. This article looks at the regulations introduced to enforce the restrictions.

The Government has laid several statutory instruments requiring people to wear face coverings, with the aim of reducing the spread of Covid-19. These regulations include a list of “relevant places” where people must wear face coverings. The regulations have been updated with subsequent regulations that add places to the list and remove exemptions. The financial penalties for non-compliance have also been updated. This article looks at the requirements imposed by the various instruments.

  • In Focus

    The Government has relaxed many of the national coronavirus lockdown restrictions since the height of the pandemic. Instead, it has sought to control outbreaks in specific areas with ‘local lockdowns’. This article examines the legislative framework around local lockdowns and the parliamentary scrutiny they have undergone.

  • In Focus

    The UK’s arts and entertainment sector has been one of the areas worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The decline in revenues and the number of workers furloughed over the past few months is second only to the accommodation and food sector. This article examines the impact of the pandemic on the UK’s cultural industry and the Government’s recently announced support package worth £1.57 billion aimed at helping the sector recover.

  • In Focus

    Children whose parents or guardians get certain benefits, and all children up to year 2, are entitled to a free school meal during term time. During the Covid-19 pandemic the Government introduced supermarket vouchers to cover the cost of a meal while the schools were closed. This scheme was extended into the Easter, May half term and summer school holidays. On 14 September 2020, Baroness D’Souza is due to ask the Government what assessment they have made of extending a programme of free meals and activities into all future school holidays.

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    On 23 July 2020 the Government laid regulations requiring people to wear face coverings in shops and some other indoor venues. The House of Lords is due to debate these regulations in September 2020. This article provides an overview of the regulations and the background to their introduction.

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    The coronavirus lockdown was introduced to reduce the spread of the disease. However, it also gave rise to substantial costs, both to the economy and in areas such as health, education, domestic violence and inequality. This article considers one analysis of these costs and how they compare to the benefits of the lockdown. This is the subject of an oral question in the House of Lords on 28 July 2020.

  • In Focus

    The next UK-wide census was due to take place in March 2021. However, the Scottish Government has recently announced that the census in Scotland will be delayed until 2022. This article, marking the centenary of the Census Act 1920, considers the implications of the Scottish announcement and also other policy developments relating to the forthcoming census.

  • In Focus

    The outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK saw the closure of places of worship, including churches, as part of measures to limit transmission of the virus. Churches were gradually reopened in June and July 2020. This article considers the ways in which churches and congregations were affected by this closure and the gradual reopening. It also summarises the discussion between the Government and religious bodies during this process.

  • In Focus

    Many of the restrictions imposed due to coronavirus have been set out in secondary legislation. This article covers two regulations that were made to relax some of the restrictions on what businesses can open, including pubs, restaurants and certain beauty salons. It has been published ahead of a Lords debate on the legislation.