During the consideration of the Legislative Consent Motion on the then Coronavirus Bill on 24 March 2020, I gave an undertaking to report on the use of the powers in that Bill (now the Coronavirus Act 2020) on a regular basis.
To date the majority of Coronavirus-related legislation has been made using pre-existing powers, rather than the powers under the Coronavirus Act. As a consequence, there has been no summary report provided to Members of the Senedd relating solely to that Act. Written statements have been issued to inform Members of the making of the most important coronavirus-related legislation (for example, relating to the main coronavirus restrictions legislation), but it is not a standard practice for every item of subordinate legislation.
To help improve the accessibility of Welsh law relating to coronavirus, all legislation relating to coronavirus made by the Welsh Ministers (either by way of Statutory Instrument (SI) or other form of subordinate legislation) has been published on the Gov.wales website and with a single page on the site where all this legislation is published. This reflects the seriousness with which we take the importance of transparency in the use of the unusually broad powers granted by public health legislation. Statutory instruments also continue be published on the legislation.gov.uk website.
We are now publishing a first report to the Senedd on legislation made relating to coronavirus. While my initial commitment was solely to report on the use of powers under the 2020 Act, it is more informative and meaningful to provide a report which includes all subordinate legislation relating to coronavirus made by or on behalf of the Welsh Ministers, not just legislation which originates from the 2020 Act.
This report has been published at: https://senedd.wales/laid%20documents/gen-ld13409/gen-ld13409-e.pdf
This report will be updated periodically and will detail areas such as:
- the use of powers (or confirmation none have been used);
- the amendments to the principal restriction-related Regulations, including the ‘travel’ Regulations
- all other subordinate legislation made (including all SIs and, wherever possible, non-SI subordinate legislation such as directions, notices and declarations).
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.