• In Focus

    Neurological conditions and Covid-19

    Health and care services for those with neurological conditions have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with many of these patients also facing an increased risk from the virus. This briefing examines the diverse nature of these conditions and how the NHS has sought to adjust to the challenges caused by Covid-19.

  • In Focus

    To sign or not to sign? Sign language in law, parliament and Covid-19 briefings

    Following Deaf Awareness Week this month, this article looks at British sign language and a campaign for the Government to provide an on-set BSL interpreter at the live televised Covid-19 briefings. It also looks at the introduction of BSL interpretation to certain parliamentary proceedings, most notably for prime minister’s questions.

  • In Focus

    Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine: where are we now?

    Around one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered around the world. In the UK, more than 35 million people have received at least one dose. The vaccine developed at the University of Oxford, in partnership with AstraZeneca, is one of the major vaccines currently in circulation. This article covers the debate over supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe, as well as the rare blood clotting side-effect reported after a small number of first doses.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech: economic affairs, business and Covid-19 recovery

    Coronavirus vaccine programmes are improving the economic outlook, but rising cases in some countries are affecting global activity. This article discusses the outlook for key economic variables. It then summarises the Government’s policies for the economy as it recovers from the pandemic. Finally, it lists a number of possible bills or areas for legislation, related to the economy and business, which might feature in the Queen’s speech.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: housing evictions

    The ban on housing evictions, introduced in March 2020, is due to end on 31 May 2021. A think tank has estimated that around 756,000 households are currently behind on their housing payments. They have called on the Government to provide financial help to clear rent arrears as well as reforms to the welfare system. The Government has said it has provided unprecedented financial support for renters during the pandemic.

  • In Focus

    Building an inclusive society in the post-pandemic world

    Attendees at a United Nations (UN) summit more than 25 years ago defined an inclusive society as a “society for all”. Policy responses have been introduced in the years since, though questions remain about how progress can be measured. The Covid-19 pandemic has represented a setback towards realising the goal in many areas, but some have identified an opportunity to redouble efforts towards achieving ambitions in the pandemic’s wake.

  • In Focus

    Debate on the Coronavirus Act 2020 and health protection regulations

    The first anniversary of the Coronavirus Act 2020 passing into law will fall on 25 March 2021. Both Houses of Parliament are due to hold debates on this date to consider a one-year status report on the act and its provisions. The House of Lords is also set to consider certain health protection regulations made under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 during its debate.

  • In Focus

    Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) (England) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2021

    On 15 February 2021, new regulations on travellers arriving into England came into force. All travellers are now required to test negative twice during their quarantine period, and travellers entering from ‘red list’ countries must isolate in Government-approved hotels. The Government has been criticised for not introducing hotel quarantine for all arrivals to England. The regulations are subject to a regret motion in the House of Lords.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Empowering women in the recovery from the impact of the pandemic

    Women have been specifically affected by the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Reasons for this include that they are over-represented in some of the worst-hit sectors, and that they do a greater share of unpaid care. The Government has said it wants women’s economic empowerment to be a focus in the post-pandemic recovery period. But it has faced criticism for not taking enough account of gender equality in its approach.