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COVID-19 Regulation Tracker

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a dramatic regulatory response by the federal government. This response has taken many forms, including emergency declarations, relief aimed at sustaining payrolls, prohibitions of activity, and temporary waivers of regulatory requirements.

The American Action Forum’s COVID-19 Regulation Tracker compiles federal actions related to the coronavirus published in the Federal Register and assigns each a response type. These response types are:

  • Education – Actions related to schools, colleges, universities, and federal education programs.
  • Finance – Actions related to preservation of markets and liquidity.
  • Foreign Entry – Actions related to entering, or reentering, the United States.
  • Government – Actions related to the daily functioning of government, including comment extensions and disaster declarations.
  • Health – Actions related to increasing medical capacity and preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Meeting – Actions notifying the public of meeting changes, cancellations, or other related activity.
  • Prohibition – Actions specifically prohibiting a business activity.
  • Relief – Actions granting regulatory relief, including temporary exemptions from certain regulatory requirements and permanent changes to the regulatory code.
  • Reimposition – Actions reimposing regulatory requirements that were temporarily waived.
  • Workforce – Actions related to implementing economic relief to workers, including the Paycheck Protection Program.

The full data set, updated daily, can be viewed here. Below the graphic are brief descriptions of the most significant actions taken to date, organized by response type.

SIGNIFICANT ACTIONS

Finance

Action: Regulatory Capital Rule: Revised Transition of the Current Expected Credit Losses Methodology for Allowances

Agencies: Treasury Department, Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Significance: The rule pertains to the calculation of “current expected credit loss,” an upcoming rule that would completely revise how companies calculate their losses by requiring that for the first time companies should include estimated future losses in their assessment of their reserving and therefore their capital, This interim final rule would allow for the implementation of this new standard over an additional two years on top of the three-year postponement period already in place.

 

Action: Regulatory Capital Rule: Paycheck Protection Program Lending Facility and Paycheck Protection Program Loans

Agencies: Treasury Department, Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Publication Date: April 13, 2020

Significance: The rule stablishes a lending facility for the Paycheck Protection Program, providing liquidity to small business lenders and the broader credit markets and helping stabilize the financial system.

 

Foreign Entry

Action: Notification of Arrival Restrictions Applicable to Flights Carrying Persons Who Have Recently Traveled From or Were Otherwise Present Within the People’s Republic of China

Agency: Department of Homeland Security

Publication Date: February 4, 2020

Significance: The rule, which is the first mention of the current coronavirus in the Federal Register, requires all flights to the United States carrying passengers that have been to China in the previous 14 days to land at specified airports where those passengers can be screened. Similar restrictions were later placed on flights with passengers from Iran, the Schengen Area, and the United Kingdom and Ireland.

 

Action: Control of Communicable Diseases; Foreign Quarantine

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services

Publication Date: February 12, 2020

Significance: The rule amended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) regulations to allow it to require airlines to collect and provide to the CDC certain data regarding passengers and crew arriving from foreign countries.

 

Action: Order Suspending Introduction of Persons From a Country Where a Communicable Disease Exists

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services

Publication Date: March 24, 2020

Significance: The rule serves notice that the CDC issued an order preventing persons from designated countries or places from entering the United States.

 

Health

Action: Determination of Public Health Emergency

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services

Publication Date: February 7, 2020

Significance: The notice formally declared a public health emergency involving the coronavirus, allowing the CDC to issue an Emergency Use Authorization for the first diagnostic test.

 

Action: Expanding State-Approved Diagnostic Tests

Agency: Executive Office of the President

Publication Date: March 18, 2020

Significance: The presidential memorandum directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to facilitate, as appropriate, requests from states to authorize laboratories to develop and perform COVID-19 tests.

 

Action: Notice of Designation of Scarce Materials or Threatened Materials Subject to COVID-19 Hoarding Prevention Measures

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services

Publication Date: March 30, 2020

Significance: The notice formally declares certain medical supplies as protected from hoarding, which triggers certain penalties for violators. Covered supplies include N-95 masks and other personal protective equipment for health care workers, portable ventilators, and hydroxychloroquine.

 

Prohibition

Action: No Sail Order and Suspension of Further Embarkation

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services

Publication Date: March 24, 2020

Significance: The notice announces a CDC order that all large cruise ships subject to the jurisdiction of the United States cannot operate for 30 days. The order was extended for a longer period on April 15. It was extended again on July 16.

 

Relief

Action: Orders Limiting Operations at John F. Kennedy International Airport and New York LaGuardia Airport; High Density Traffic Airports Rule at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Agency: Department of Transportation

Publication Date: March 16, 2020

Significance: The notice issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) waives minimum slot usage requirements on air carriers at major airports through May 31. Minimum usage requirements were forcing air carriers to fly empty planes into major airports so that carriers would not forfeit gate slots at coveted airports. The waiver was later extended through October 24.

 

Action: Relief for Form ID Filers and Regulation Crowdfunding and Regulation A Issuers Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Agency: Securities and Exchange Commission

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Significance: The rule temporarily allows certain filers from having to get signatures notarized in order to submit forms electronically.

 

Action: Enforcement Policy for Expired Airman Medical Certificates

Agency: Department of Transportation

Publication Date: April 1, 2020

Significance: The notice announces that, until June 30, the FAA will not take legal enforcement action against any person serving as a required pilot, flight crewmember, or flight engineer based on noncompliance with medical-certificate duration standards, when expiration of the required medical certificate occurs from March 31 through June 30. The move came after CDC guidance recommending that healthcare facilities postpone unnecessary procedures, including routine examinations.

 

Action: Relief for Certain Persons and Operations During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak

Agency: Department of Transportation

Publication Date: May 4, 2020

Significance: The rule provides regulatory relief to persons unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to COVID-19. This relief allows operators to continue to use pilots and other crewmembers in support of essential operations during this period. Additionally, the rule provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and renewal requirements due to the outbreak. The rule also allows certain air carriers and operators to fly temporary overflow aircraft.

 

Action: Enforcement Discretion Regarding COVID-19 Community-Based Testing Sites (CBTS) During the COVID-19 Nationwide Public Health Emergency

Agency: Department of Health and Human Services

Publication Date: May 18, 2020

Significance: The rule notifies covered Community-Based Testing Cites that HHS will utilize discretion in instances where protected health information may be released as a result of steps taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Covered entities must still make good faith efforts to protect certain health information as much as practicable.

 

Workforce

Action: Paid Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Agency: Department of Labor

Publication Date: April 6, 2020

Significance: The rule implements the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

 

Action: Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program

Agency: Small Business Administration

Publication Date: April 15, 2020

Significance: The rule implements the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to provide loans to small businesses to maintain payroll employees for eight weeks.

 

Action: Temporary Changes to Requirements Affecting H-2A Nonimmigrants Due to the COVID-19 National Emergency

Agency: Department of Homeland Security

Publication Date: April 20, 2020

Significance: The rule temporarily removes certain limitations on agricultural employers and workers to ensure that agricultural employers have access to the workers necessary to maintain the food supply chain.

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