Removal of coronavirus restrictions

The Government has ended the legal requirements around self-isolation for people who test positive for coronavirus. It has also removed the pandemic-related power for local authorities to restrict certain gatherings. The regulations to effect these changes are scheduled to be debated in the House of Lords on 14 March 2022. The Liberal Democrats have tabled a regret motion that is due to be debated on 17 March 2022.

Removal of coronavirus restrictions

International Women’s Day 2022: gender gaps across the world

Despite years of international attention on the issue, global gender gaps remain. Data published by the World Economic Forum in 2021 showed that global gender gaps remained in education, health, economics and politics. This article looks at findings from the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women and girls.

International Women’s Day 2022: gender gaps across the world
  • In Focus

    Older workers in the UK

    Recent labour market figures show a record number of job vacancies and increased economic activity in the UK. It has been suggested that one reason for this could be that older workers are leaving the workforce at a higher rate than before. This article considers how the pandemic has impacted older workers and what actions the Government has taken.

  • In Focus

    The women and girls in the fight against Covid-19

    It is nearly two years since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. Globally women make up over two-thirds of health and social care workers, rising to three-quarters of NHS staff employed in England. This placed women at the forefront of the fight against the virus. In the UK and the US, many women have been also leading the search for a vaccine. This article looks at some of these UK and US female scientists and their roles in the global pandemic response.

  • In Focus

    Democracy under threat: a case for co-ordinated action?

    An ongoing decline in the global state of democracy has been identified by a number of recent reports, with restrictions introduced to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbating the issue. In December 2021, the United States held the ‘summit for democracy’ aimed at bolstering democracy. In the same month Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, called for democratic nations to form a “network of liberty” that spans the world.

  • In Focus

    Ambulance response times in England: an emergency?

    The NHS in England has set a national target for ambulances to respond to the most life-threatening incidents within 7 minutes on average. Response times for these incidents have been rising in recent months, averaging over 9 minutes in December 2021. NHS targets for responding to less urgent calls have also been missed. This article summarises ambulance response times data and Government statements on the issue.

  • Current Affairs Digest

    Current Affairs Digest: Coronavirus (January 2022)

    Coronavirus has continued to spread rapidly over recent months as a result of the Omicron variant. The Government answered the latest surge with a major booster campaign in the UK. This article looks at questions about whether booster programmes will become a regular occurrence or whether we could be reaching the end of the pandemic.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: motions to approve statutory instruments relating to public health

    On 8 December 2021, the Government announced that England would move to ‘plan B’ of its Covid-19 response. This followed concerns about the increased spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant in the UK. Plan B consists of several measures that the Government is now seeking to implement. The House of Lords is due to consider some of these measures on 15 December 2021.

  • In Focus

    Mandatory vaccines for health and care workers: latest regulations

    The draft Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 would place a requirement on health and social care workers who have face-to-face contact with service users, including volunteers, to provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. They would need to do so in order to be deployed, though there would be exemptions for certain staff. The policy has been met with criticism by several medical bodies.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus: business loans and the public finances

    The Government has provided over £200 billion of loans, guarantees and insurance cover to private sector firms during the coronavirus pandemic. These affect government borrowing and debt in different ways, depending on the design of the schemes. This article explores how each scheme is treated in the public finances and how much they are expected to cost.

  • In Focus

    Global Covid-19 vaccine donations: UK contribution

    Access to Covid-19 vaccinations has been unequal across the world. The World Health Organisation, amongst others, has warned that no country is protected from Covid-19 until the world is protected. The UK Government has pledged to donate 100 million vaccine doses to the rest of the world by June 2022. However, the Government has received criticism for how many of the doses pledged have been delivered to date.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19 pandemic: impact on people with disabilities

    3 December 2021 is the International Day of People with Disabilities. Edward Scott explores the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people with disabilities in the UK, including issues concerning access to services and the economic impact of the pandemic. This article also summarises the Government’s recent proposals for reform to benefits and employment support for people with disabilities.

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