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

Alleviation of requirement on certain persons to appear in person under Part 5 of Act of 2004

33. The Act of 2004 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 37:

“37A. (1) Notwithstanding any provision of this Part, a relative or a qualified informant who, within the emergency period, is required under this Part to—

(a) attend in person before a registrar,

(b) attend in person before a Superintendent Registrar, or

(c) sign a register in the presence of any person,

shall be deemed to have done so where they have provided to the registrar, Superintendent Registrar or person in question such written particulars relating to that requirement as an tArd-Chláraitheoir may specify.

(2) Before the expiration of the emergency period, the Government may, at the request of the Minister made—

(a) after consultation with any other Minister of the Government as he or she considers appropriate having regard to the functions of that Minister of the Government, and

(b) having had regard to the matters referred to in subsection (4),

by order specify a date that is later than the expiration date of the emergency period specified in the definition of ‘emergency period’ or the last order under this subsection, as the case may be, and the emergency period shall be read as extending to, and including, the date so specified.

(3) An order under subsection (2) 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.

(4) When making an order under subsection (2), the Government shall have regard to the following:

(a) the nature and potential impact of Covid-19 on individuals, society and the State;

(b) the capacity of the State to respond to the risk to public health posed by the spread of Covid-19;

(c) measures taken in order to comply with, or as a consequence of, Government policy;

(d) the need to ensure the most beneficial, effective and efficient use of resources;

(e) the need to ensure the continuity of a well-functioning registration service;

(f) the need to ensure that persons do not have to attend in person to register a death where it would not be safe or advisable in the interests of public health for them to do so.

(5) In this section—

‘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;

‘emergency period’ means the period beginning on 13 March 2020 and ending on 31 May 2020.”.