The government is hoping to pass all stages of their 329-page emergency bill through the House of Commons on Monday.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs the emergency legislation will allow “extraordinary measures” never seen in peace time in the UK.
Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the government should move to enforced social distancing as a matter of urgency because too many people were not following advice.
With cross-party support for the urgency and general principles of the new laws, progress of the Coronavirus Bill is not under threat.
But there will still be disagreements and pressure on ministers.
So what are MPs being asked to approve?
Together, the 87 clauses give the government wide-ranging powers, unlike any other recent legislation.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has stressed that the powers in the bill would only be used “when strictly necessary” and would remain in force only for as long as required to respond to the crisis.
Speaking in the Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said 7,563 recently retired clinicians had so far “answered the call” to return to work to help with the emergency.
He told MPs that the returnees included nurses, midwives, paramedics and social workers – adding that priority would be given to ensure their training was up to date and they were fully insured.
There are multiple sections aimed at reducing the pressure on other frontline sectors, for example by relaxing rules around detention under mental health laws and increasing the use of audio and video links in courts.
This category of measures shows just how wide the subject matters range.
Organisations could be required to provide space or resources for the storage or management of dead bodies, while rules relating to investigatory powers will be relaxed while the law is in force.
One of the more high-profile measures in the bill is the power to restrict events and shut down premises such as pubs.
On Friday evening, the prime minister told pubs to close, along with other places where people gather in the same space. He did not go into detail on to what extent this will be enforced, but this bill will make the power of the state clear.
If UK and devolved ministers decide an event or venue poses a threat to public health, the owner of a venue or an organiser of the event can be forced to cancel, close down or restrict access.
Failure to do so could result in a fine.
Once the bill passes, officials will have the power to close the borders in the event that the Border Force is under intense pressure due to staffing shortages.
It also puts into law powers to isolate or detain individuals who are judged to be a risk to containing the spread of Covid-19.
Since the outbreak of coronavirus, there has been pressure on the government to support workers who are unable to work during the crisis.
To support businesses, the bill will allow employers to reclaim statutory sick pay funds from HMRC to help with the burden of increased staff absence. For workers, it will scrap the three-day waiting period so that they can receive the payments from the day they stop working.
Are MPs concerned about the bill?
Following pressure from Tory MPs, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the bill would be debated and voted on every six months to ensure Parliament was “content with its continuation”.
Acknowledging the “difficult” powers being sought by ministers were “unprecedented in peacetime”, he insisted they would be “relinquished” as soon as the threat to the UK had passed.
A succession of Conservative MPs welcomed the move but sought assurances that the measures would only apply to fighting the virus.
Tom Tugendhat expressed concern that the powers could – in different circumstances – be used in a “malicious fashion”.
David Davis sought reassurances that individual elements of the bill could be removed if they were not working as intended while Steve Baker called for a sunset clause – when the bill would automatically expire – of one rather than two years.
Will anything be changed?
Labour’s shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said no MPs “came into this House” to give powers of this kind to the executive, “curtailing some of the basic freedoms our forebears fought for and we take for granted”.
While Labour believed unprecedented measures were now needed to “save lives and protect our communities”, he said the measures would “chill every Liberal in the House” and it only offered its support with a “heavy heart”.
However, he said the bill required careful scrutiny to ensure the “quite extraordinary” powers were not abused, particularly in changes to rules on mental health sectioning and the provision of social care.
The bill, he warned, would give councils the power to “downgrade” care for the disabled and the elderly and that this should be subject to a review by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
While councils should be able to prioritise those with the greatest needs in the event of staff shortages, “what no-one of us wants to see is the legal minimum of support become the default”.
When will it all come in to force?
Any legislation has to pass to the House of Lords once it has cleared the Commons. The government has no majority on the red benches, so peers could cause some problems if they want to make changes to the bill.
If they do, this would probably happen on Wednesday, at Report Stage. It would then return to MPs on Thursday.
Either way, it should be signed into law by the end of Thursday, giving ministers powers that would be unprecedented in normal times.