• In Focus

    Covid-19 and the US election: The presidential inauguration

    President Joe Biden began his term as US president on 20 January 2021. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and heightened security concerns, his inauguration looked different to those before. This article outlines some key information about presidential inaugurations in the US and looks at how recent events impacted this year’s ceremony.

  • In Focus

    World Cancer Day 2021: Impact of Covid-19

    Many health professionals and organisations have raised concerns about the negative impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on cancer survival rates in the UK. This is mainly due to delays and cancellations in screening and diagnostic services. Concern has also been raised about the impact of Covid-19 on cancer patients and their weakened immune systems. This article will look in more detail at the impact Covid-19 is having on cancer in the UK.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus: Extending the ban on residential evictions in England

    The Government has extended protections against the enforcement of residential evictions until at least 21 February 2021 because of the third national ‘lockdown’ in England. However, the measure has been criticised by Labour and others for not going far enough to prevent renters from losing their homes during the pandemic. The House of Lords will debate the regulations that extend the ban on 2 February 2021.

  • In Focus

    Church Action for Tax Justice reports: Tax for the Common Good and Fair Tax Now

    The campaign organisation Church Action for Tax Justice published two reports entitled Tax for the Common Good and Fair Tax Now, containing proposals on creating a fairer tax system. The House of Lords will debate these reports on 21 January 2021. This article summarises the reports' recommendations, the Government’s current tax policies and the impact of Covid-19 on fiscal policy.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Changes to the self-isolation period and the areas in tier 3

    These coronavirus regulations reduced the length of the self-isolation period from 14 days down to 10 and added new areas, including London, to the list of places in tier 3. They are part of the Government’s ongoing strategy to control the spread of coronavirus. The regulations need to be approved by both Houses of Parliament or they will cease to be law.

  • In Focus

    World Aids Day 2020: HIV and Covid-19

    This article looks at the World Health Organisation's latest findings on the prevalence of HIV globally, studies into HIV status and Covid-19 and UNAIDS' call for global solidarity and shared responsibility.

  • In Focus

    Regulation of coronavirus testing

    The current regulatory framework for coronavirus testing is complex. The Government believes this complexity disincentivises new private providers entering the market and has put forward proposals to replace it with a new system. This article looks at two draft regulations that would remove coronavirus testing from the existing regulatory structure and establish a new regime for private providers of commercial Covid-19 testing services.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus: Ban on residential evictions and seizure of goods

    Following the introduction of a second national lockdown in England, the Government introduced a ban on evictions against residential tenants and restrictions on the seizure of goods inside someone’s home by bailiffs. The Government stated these measures were necessary because of the high risk of Covid-19 transmission and the difficulty in accessing public services when pressure on the NHS and local authorities was most acute. The restrictions will be in place over the mid-winter period.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Health literacy and public health information

    Public health information has been a central tool in the Government’s fight against Covid-19. However, the public’s ability to obtain, process and understand health information is variable, with 61% of adults in one observational study struggling to understand health information that included both text and numbers. This article examines some of the barriers to understanding public health information, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. It also looks at what the Government is doing to improve levels of health literacy.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Revised tiers for England

    The Government has announced that the England-wide Covid-19 restrictions commonly referred to as ‘lockdown 2’ will not be renewed past 2 December 2020. The restrictions are to be replaced with a revised tier structure for England similar to the one in place before the second lockdown. The revised tiers form part of the Government’s Winter Plan, which was announced on 23 November 2020.

  • In Focus

    Autumn 2020 spending review

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered a spending review statement on 25 November 2020. The Government said the review’s priorities were “to support the Government’s response to Covid-19, invest in the UK’s recovery and deliver on promises to the British people”. Alongside the spending review, the Office for Budget Responsibility set out its latest forecasts for the economy and for the public finances.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Winter rough sleeping plan

    Rough sleepers have been identified as an at-risk group who are vulnerable to contracting and spreading Covid-19. The Government has launched several schemes to support local authorities and their partners to provide covid-secure accommodation to those sleeping rough or at risk of sleeping rough. In November 2020, the Government launched the Protect programme, which provides targeted funding throughout the winter to support areas with high numbers of rough sleepers.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19 vaccine: Winter update

    Almost 200 Covid-19 vaccine candidates are currently being developed. Ten candidates, including the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, are currently in largescale phase 3 clinical trials. This article provides an update on the Covid-19 vaccine, looking at when a candidate is likely to be available for deployment, who will be prioritised when a candidate becomes available, and how the vaccine will be distributed internationally.