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Emergency powers to tackle coronavirus set to become law

Emergency powers to help the UK cope with the coronavirus pandemic are poised to become law after clearing the House of Lords. After just two days of debate in the upper chamber, the fast-tracked Coronavirus Bill was given an unopposed third reading by peers and has now gone for royal assent. The unprecedented legislation – granting ministers, councils, police, health professionals and coroners wide-ranging powers that are due to last for up to two years – had already cleared the Commons in one sitting. The changes include reducing the number of doctors required to sign off on sectioning those with mental health issues from two to one, while police would be given authority to force those infected with Covid-19 to self-isolate.

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