Here you can find information about changes to law and policy which have been put in place by the UK government. Please note, this is for information only, it should not be taken as legal advice. 

Some of the changes have been approved by parliament, such as the Coronavirus Act, using very short scrutiny processes. However, many changes have not been subject to parliament’s review, instead being issued by the Government as delegated laws.

Coronavirus Act (March 2020) and Regulations Changing Laws (from March 2020)

The Coronavirus Act was passed by Parliament on 25 March, after 3 days of review (this is a very short period compared to usual times). The Coronavirus Act contains many changes to laws that impact many of us on a day to day basis. These include laws about what care and support we are entitled to when we may be in vulnerable situations. This includes if we are or become disabled, older people, children and young people with special educational needs, people with mental health issues, and those being discharged from hospital. Some of these changes started once the Act was passed. Some will only be changed once the Government sets out new Regulations (these Regulations do not have any substantial review by Parliament). Some of these Regulations have been created, some have not. You can find out more about each area of law below.

Here you can find our table summarising legal changes to care and support laws in the 4 nations, most recently updated on 14 April 2021. Full Explainers are available in each of the sections below for the 4 nations.

Lockdown Regulations (March 2020)

In addition to the Coronavirus Act and Regulations related to changes to laws, the legal rules around lockdown come from the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. It is important to note that these Regulations are law, and are different to the government guidance on staying at home (social distancing). These Regulations came into force on 26 March 2020. These Regulations give the police significant powers; but there is a lot of misunderstanding about these powers. Visit the Police Powers and Lockdown section below for more information.