Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020

Publication Date:January 01, 2020
 
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Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020

2020 2

An Act, to make exceptional provision, in the public interest and having regard to the manifest and grave risk to human life and public health posed by the spread of the disease known as Covid-19 and in order to mitigate, where practicable, the effect of the spread of that disease and to mitigate the adverse economic consequences resulting, or likely to result from the spread of that disease and to mitigate its impact on the administration of vital public service functions; to make provision in relation to the operation of certain provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 during the period of 3 months following the enactment of this Act and such further period (if any) as may be specified by order of the Government; to amend the Planning and Development Act 2000 to provide, in certain circumstances, for the disregard of a certain period in the calculation of time limits referred to in that Act and in certain other enactments; to provide for the registration of certain health and social care professionals to fulfil the need for medical resources to alleviate the risk from Covid-19 to human life and public health and for those and related purposes to amend the Dentists Act 1985 , the Health and Social Care Professionals Act 2005 , the Pharmacy Act 2007 , the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 , and the Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 ; to make provision, due to the exigencies of the public health emergency posed by the spread of Covid-19, for certain amendments and modifications to the provisions of the Mental Health Act 2001 relating to the carrying out of reviews under section 18 of that Act; to amend the Defence Act 1954 to enable the re-enlistment of formerly enlisted persons; to enable the provision of a temporary wage subsidy to certain employees; to make provision in relation to the operation of certain provisions of the Redundancy Payments Act 1967 for a certain period following the enactment of this Act and such further period (if any) as may be specified by order of the Government and, for that purpose, to amend the Redundancy Payments Act 1967 ; to make provision allowing for the modified operation of certain aspects of the civil registration system, if required, for a limited period and such further period (if any) as may be specified by order of the Government, including by way of allowing certain persons to provide particulars to a registrar in writing rather than by appearing in person, and by allowing the staff of an tArd-Chláraitheoir to perform the functions of certain registrars in circumstances where the civil registration system is not available or able to perform its statutory functions as it ordinarily would be, and for those purposes, to amend the Civil Registration Act 2004 ; and to provide for related matters.

[27 3 2020]

WHEREAS an emergency has arisen in the State by virtue of the spread of the disease known as Covid-19;

AND WHEREAS the State is and its citizens are, in significant respects, highly exposed to the effect of the spread of that disease; and having regard to the constitutional duty of the State to respect and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the rights of citizens to life and to bodily integrity, it is necessary to introduce a range of extraordinary measures and safeguards to prevent, minimise, limit or reduce the risk of persons being infected with that disease;

AND WHEREAS the emergency that has arisen is of such a character that it is necessary for compelling reasons of public interest and for the common good that extraordinary measures should be taken to mitigate, to the extent practicable, the adverse economic consequences resulting, or likely to result, from the spread of that disease and to mitigate its impact on the administration of vital public service functions;

Be it enacted by the Oireachtas as follows:

1 Preliminary and General

PART 1

Preliminary and General

S-1 Short title, commencement and operation

1 Short title, commencement and operation

(1) This Act may be cited as the Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020.

(2) (a) Part 3 shall come into operation on such day as the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government may by order appoint.

(b)

Part 5 shall come into operation on the 30th day of March 2020.

(c)

The amendments effected byPart 8 shall be deemed to have come into operation on the 13th day of March 2020.

(d)

The amendments effected byPart 9 shall be deemed to have come into operation on the 13th day of March 2020.

(3) The amendments to and other modifications of the Mental Health Act 2001 effected by Part 5

(a)

subject toparagraph (b), continue in operation until the 9th day of November 2020, and

(b)

may be continued in operation by a resolution passed by each House of the Oireachtas before the date referred to inparagraph (a) until such date as may be specified in the resolutions.

S-2 Definition

2 Definition

2. In this Act, “Covid-19” means a disease caused by infection with the virus SARS-CoV-2 and specified as an infectious disease in accordance with Regulation 6 of, and the Schedule to, the Infectious Diseases Regulations 1981 (S.I. No. 390 of 1981) or any variant of the disease so specified as an infectious disease in those Regulations.

2 Operation of Residential Tenancies Act 2004

PART 2

Operation of Residential Tenancies Act 2004

S-3 Interpretation

3 Interpretation

(1) In this Part—

“Act of 2004” means the Residential Tenancies Act 2004;

“emergency period” means—

(a)

the period of 3 months commencing on the enactment of this Act, and

(b)

such other period (if any) as may be specified by order undersection 4.

(2) In this Part—

(a)

references to landlord shall be construed as including references to licensor within the meaning of section 37 of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019,

(b)

references to tenant shall be construed as including references to licensee within such meaning, and

(c)

references to tenancy shall be construed as including references to licence within such meaning.

(3) A word or expression that is used in this Part and in the Act of 2004 shall have the meaning in this Part that it has in that Act.

S-4 Extension of emergency period

4 Extension of emergency period

(1) The Government may, on the request of the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government made—

(a)

after consultation with the Minister for Health, and

(b)

with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform,

from time to time, by order extend the emergency period for such period as they consider appropriate if they are satisfied that, having regard to—

(i)

the threat to public health presented by Covid-19,

(ii)

the highly contagious nature of that disease, and

(iii)

the need to restrict the movement of persons in order to prevent the spread of the disease among the population,

the making of such order is in the public interest.

(2) Every order under this Part shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the order is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on which that House sits after the order is laid before it, the order shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.

S-5 Notices of termination under Act of 2004

5 Notices of termination under Act of 2004

(1) (a) A landlord shall not serve a notice of termination in relation to the tenancy of a dwelling during the emergency period.

(b)

A tenant who, but for the operation ofsubsection (1), would not acquire any rights under Part 4 of the Act of 2004 shall not, by virtue of such operation, acquire such rights.

(2) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), where a notice of termination (that cites as a reason for the termination concerned the ground specified in paragraph 1 of the Table to section 34 of the Act of 2004) served before the emergency period specifies a termination date that falls during or after the emergency period, the termination date under that notice shall be deemed to be the revised termination date.

(b)

If a dispute or complaint in respect of a matter that occasioned the giving of a notice to whichparagraph (a) applies is referred to the Board in accordance with section 78 of the Act of 2004, that paragraph shall cease to have effect in relation to that notice—

(i) upon the expiration of 10 days from the making of a determination by an adjudicator under subsection (4) of section 97 of the Act of 2004 in relation to the dispute or complaint concerned save where an appeal from that determination is brought before the Tribunal, or

(ii) upon the making of a determination by the Tribunal under section 108 (other than a decision referred to in subsection (2) of that section) of the Act of 2004 in respect of such an appeal.

(3) Where a notice of termination (other than a notice of termination to which subsection (1) applies) referred to in section 34 of the Act of 2004 served before the emergency period specifies a termination date that falls during or after the emergency period, the termination date under that notice shall be deemed to be the revised termination date.

(4) (a) Where a notice of termination in respect of a tenancy of a dwelling of less than 6 months duration served before the emergency period specifies a termination date that falls during or after the emergency period, the termination date under that notice shall be deemed to be the revised termination date.

(b)

A tenant shall not, by virtue of the operation of this subsection, acquire any rights under Part 4 of the Act of 2004.

(5) Section 67 of the Act of 2004 shall have effect during the emergency period as if, in subsection (3), “28 days” were substituted for “14 days”.

(6) In this section “revised termination date” means, in the case of a notice of termination served before the emergency period, the date immediately following the expiration of a period that consists of...

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