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16 July, 2021 Open access

Early expiry of provisions that have downgraded local authority duties to assess and meet care needs during Covid-19 outbreak in England

New statutory instrument

New regulations have been issued in relation to local authority duties to assess and meet care needs during the Covid-19 outbreak in England.

In force from 16 July 2021, the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Early Expiry) Regulations 2021 (SI.No.856/2021) provide for the expiry of twelve sections of the Coronavirus Act 2020 including provisions made by section 15 of, and Part 1 of Schedule 12 to, the 2020 Act which together have enabled local authorities in England to determine whether to comply with duties in relation to meeting care needs and carrying out social care assessments during the Covid outbreak.

The explanatory memorandum to the regulations advises that -

‘In England, eight local authorities used these powers between April 2020 and June 2020. No local authorities in England have used them after 29 June 2020. The social care workforce has remained resilient under significant pressure and continued to deliver these duties without the need to operate under easements. Local authorities are in a better position now in terms of planning, support and use of mutual aid than they were when the easements provision was introduced.’

SI.No.856/2021 is available from