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This briefing paper is one of a collection of Commons Library briefings on the Coronavirus Bill (the Bill). It deals with the reason for the Bill and the final provisions around commencement, expiry and regulation making powers. The other briefing papers, dealing with other parts of the Bill and general background, are available on the Commons Library website (Coronavirus Bill: Overview). 

The paper includes a background to Coronavirus, information on what the virus is and sources for statistics on the UK.

The paper also outlines briefly the Government response to date, including the Coronavirus action plan, the UK moving from the contain to delay stage, and the introduction of the Helath Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020.

Details on the final provisions of the Bill are included (clauses 71-87), in particular covering commencement, territorial extent and the sunset clause. This clause means the legislation would only stay in force for two years, but is subject to provisions that allow for a shortening, or an extension of up to six months at a time.

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