• In Focus

    Covid-19 and the US election: Voting during a pandemic

    With just under a month until the US presidential election, some American citizens have started casting their votes. The coronavirus pandemic has already caused disruption to previous elections held across the US this year. How might coronavirus affect the way Americans vote in November?

  • In Focus

    Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull: Restrictions on meetings of households

    On 11 September 2020, the Government announced that it would be creating new ‘local lockdown’ restrictions in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull. These regulations came into force on 15 September 2020. Under the regulations, those living within these areas are prohibited from meeting different households in private dwellings either within or outside the protected area (except for linked households). This article provides a summary of these regulations and their scrutiny in Parliament. It also considers how people in the areas affected have responded to the new restrictions.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus: Support for the transport sector

    Following the coronavirus lockdown, the number of passengers on the transport system declined significantly. In some sectors government financial support has been provided to make up the shortfall in lost fare revenue. This article summarises statistics on transport use and the economic support provided by the Government, ahead of an oral question on that subject in the House of Lords.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Impact on low-income families and social security support

    The number of people claiming unemployment-related benefits, which includes some people working but on low incomes, increased by over 100 percent between March and August 2020. There is also some evidence that people on low incomes saw a higher than average drop in income at the onset of the pandemic. This article provides information on selected government support schemes and when some are due to expire.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus: Rule of six regulations

    The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 place a prohibition on people gathering in groups of more than six in England; in effect implementing the Government’s ‘rule of six’ policy. Exemptions apply, for example if individuals are members of the same household or two linked households (a support bubble). The House of Lords is due to debate a motion to regret the rules on 6 October 2020.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19 regulations: Electric scooter trials

    The Government has laid regulations allowing trials of the use of electric scooters on roads to begin. Prior to the regulations, the use of both privately owned and rental e-scooters was prohibited on roads. The regulations use the ‘made negative’ procedure and came into force on 4 July 2020. This article examines what the regulations do, and explains concerns identified by the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee. 

  • In Focus

    Debate on the temporary provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020

    The Coronavirus Act 2020 was passed on 25 March 2020 and gave the Government various new powers to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak. The act stipulates that the House of Commons must have the opportunity to decline to renew certain of these powers every six months. A parallel debate on the temporary provisions in the act is to take place in the House of Lords on 28 September 2020.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus: Motion to annul rules on eviction court cases

    The Civil Procedure (Amendment No. 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 make arrangements for how eviction court cases, which were temporarily suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, will proceed when the suspension is lifted on 21 September 2020. On 23 September 2020, the House of Lords is due to debate a motion to annul the rules.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Impact on young people’s mental health

    The Covid-19 pandemic has had multiple effects on the lives of young people. These include worry for vulnerable family members and a change in normal routines. School closures have often exacerbated feelings of isolation and loneliness. Young people with existing mental health needs may have experienced a disruptive break in regular care as a result of the pandemic. This article examines the impact the pandemic has had on young people’s mental health, and what the Government’s response is.

  • In Focus

    Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford local lockdown

    In July 2020, a local lockdown was introduced in Blackburn with Darwen and in Luton. This followed the introduction of similar measures in Leicester. In August 2020, Luton was taken out of local lockdown. At the same time, restrictions were introduced for Bradford. This article summarises the measures introduced and how they have changed over time.

  • In Focus

    Leicester lockdown: Changes since July 2020

    In June 2020, the Government announced a local lockdown would be implemented in Leicester and surrounding areas. This was intended to limit the spread of Covid-19. This article provides an overview of how the local lockdown in Leicester and surrounding areas was introduced and the subsequent changes to the rules.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Lockdown legislation for the north of England

    In July 2020, the Government announced that it would introduce ‘local lockdowns’ in certain areas in the north of England in response to rates of Covid-19 that were above the national average. In early August, it made regulations to provide for these restrictions. The Government has since amended these with other instruments to reflect the changes in transmission rates and the easing of national restrictions. This article provides information on the original instrument and those which amended it.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19 regulations: Greencore workers

    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.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19 regulations: Face coverings

    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.