To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the two-monthly report on the status of the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 published on 21 July 2021, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits and demerits of maintaining powers under (a) section 51 and (b) Schedule 21 of that Act.
Section 51 and Schedule 21 enabled the enforcement of a number of public health measures relating to potentially infectious persons to control the spread of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom. The provision was used minimally and has not been applied since October 2020. In 2021, a review of all remaining temporary provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 took place, with those no longer deemed necessary and proportionate recommended for expiry. The outcome of the review was set out in the nineth two-monthly report on the Act and was set out in the Winter Plan published on 14 September 2021. The Government recommended the expiry of section 51 and Schedule 21 of the Act as it pertains to England. The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Early Expiry) (No.2) Regulations 2021 came into force on 9 December 2021 which expired section 51 and Schedule 21 in relation to England and on behalf of Northern Ireland.