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Bills and Laws

Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill

Overview

To help manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scottish Parliament passed two Bills in 2020. These became the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and the Coronavirus (No.2) (Scotland) Act 2020 (“the Scottish Acts”). The changes to the law in Part 1 of each of these Acts are due to expire on 30 September 2021.

This new Bill will extend Part 1 of each of these Acts until 31 March 2022. This means that the changes to the law in Part 1 of each of these Acts will continue to be the law until that time. An example of a change that will be extended is a protection against eviction for people who rent their homes.

The Bill will also allow secondary legislation to be used to extend Part 1 of each of these Acts further, to 30 September 2022. The Parliament would need to agree to this by approving an affirmative SSI

The Bill also expires certain changes made in Part 1 of each of the Scottish Acts so that these will not continue to be the law after 30 September 2021. These can be found in paragraphs 12 through to 30 of the explanatory notes. An example of a change that will expire is a temporary extension of timescales relating to children’s hearings.

The Bill only relates to the Scottish Acts and not the Coronavirus Act 2020 passed by the UK Parliament.

SPICe blogpost

SPICe published a detailed, extended blogpost on the Bill as introduced.

The Bill was passed on 24 June 2021 and became an Act on 04 August 2021


Contents


Overview

To help manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scottish Parliament passed two Bills in 2020. These became the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and the Coronavirus (No.2) (Scotland) Act 2020 (“the Scottish Acts”). The changes to the law in Part 1 of each of these Acts are due to expire on 30 September 2021.

This new Bill will extend Part 1 of each of these Acts until 31 March 2022. This means that the changes to the law in Part 1 of each of these Acts will continue to be the law until that time. An example of a change that will be extended is a protection against eviction for people who rent their homes.

The Bill will also allow secondary legislation to be used to extend Part 1 of each of these Acts further, to 30 September 2022. The Parliament would need to agree to this by approving an affirmative SSI

The Bill also expires certain changes made in Part 1 of each of the Scottish Acts so that these will not continue to be the law after 30 September 2021. These can be found in paragraphs 12 through to 30 of the explanatory notes. An example of a change that will expire is a temporary extension of timescales relating to children’s hearings.

The Bill only relates to the Scottish Acts and not the Coronavirus Act 2020 passed by the UK Parliament.

You can find out more in the Explanatory Notes document that explains the Bill.

Why the Bill was created

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a respiratory disease, which became a pandemic. In early 2020, the UK and Scottish Governments introduced a series of laws to manage the situation created by the pandemic.

Two Scottish Acts were passed, but Part 1 of each of these Acts will expire on 30 September 2021. The Scottish Government does not want everything in Part 1 of these Acts to expire while the pandemic continues. The Bill, as introduced, would therefore extend certain changes to the law made by the Scottish Acts to help the Scottish Government continue to manage the situation created by the pandemic.

Certain provisions of the Scottish Acts that are no longer necessary will expire. The Bill only extends the provisions that the Scottish Government considers are essential to the ongoing management of specific matters during the pandemic.

You can find out more about what the Bill seeks to extend in the Policy Memorandum document that explains the Bill.