The Emergency Coronavirus Bill

The Government has published the details of measures in the Emergency Coronavirus Bill – which will protect life and the nation’s public health and ensure NHS and social care staff are supported to deal with significant extra pressure.

• The measures in the Bill are temporary, proportionate to the threat, will only be used when strictly necessary and will be in place for as long as required to respond to the situation. The Bill will be introduced to Parliament tomorrow and scrutinised by MPs.

• Measures include allowing recently retired NHS staff and social workers to return to work without any negative repercussions to their pensions. Paperwork and administrative requirements will be reduced to help doctors discharge patients more quickly when appropriate, to free up hospital space.

• Volunteers will have extra employment safeguards – benefiting more than 3 million people who already volunteer in health and care settings and bolstering the NHS’s capacity to respond to the virus.

• Changes to councils’ duties under the Care Act will enable them to prioritise people with the greatest care needs and make the best use of the adult social care workforce.

• By planning for the worst and working for the best we will get through this, but this is a national effort and we must all work together ‒ from businesses prioritising the welfare of their employees, to people thoroughly washing their hands.