The public inquiry into Covid-19: what you need to know

A full-scale investigation into how the government is handling the Covid-19 crisis is underway after completing a four-week public consultation.

Boris Johnson Approved in May 2021 that a full public inquiry would continue under mounting pressure from activists. Following an analysis of the consultation findings, the first public hearings, chaired by former Court of Appeals Judge Baroness Heather Hallett, are due to begin next year.

After being announced as chair of the UK’s Covid inquiry last December, Crossbench colleague Hallett – who led the independent inquiry – has 7/7 terrorist attacks in London in 2005 – said she was “acutely aware” of the suffering the pandemic had inflicted on “so many”, she reported Sky news.

What was the aim of the public consultation?

More than 150 families from across the UK were consulted for the research, along with representatives from charities, religious groups, trade unions and the education and health sectors.

In total, more than 20,000 replies were received. Those responses are now being analyzed to make recommendations to Johnson on the final mandates, “which will set the themes of the inquiry’s investigations,” he said UK Covid-19 inquiry website.

A four-week public consultation is not a legal requirement, “but follows the precedents of the Grenfell Tower and infected blood inquiries,” said

in a (n open letter Released on March 11, Hallett wrote that she hopes to begin public hearings in 2023. “I will do everything in my power to make recommendations as soon as possible to ensure that this is the case in every case future pandemicthe suffering and hardship that many of you have experienced will be reduced or prevented,” she said.

What is the investigation likely to cover?

Topics likely to be explored include the use of public health powers and medical expertise and evidence; Health and social policy (incl test and track and the introduction of vaccines); The influence of Covid on education and child care; and the financial impact of the pandemic, such as B. the administration of Vacation and sick pay.

A separate inquiry focusing on the Scottish Government’s Covid response is being led by Lady Anna Poole, a sitting judge in the Scottish courts. According to the Library of the House of CommonsThis inquiry is expected to be properly launched in “early summer 2022” and its “conditions refer specifically to the human rights implications of pandemic decision-making.”

The omission of this mandate in the UK inquiry has been criticised.

How long could the investigation take?

The UK’s public inquiry into Covid is “probably one of the most comprehensive ever undertaken,” he said The guard‘s Social Affairs Correspondent Harry Boothand will almost certainly last for several years.

Even “very narrowly focused public inquiries” can take years, the House of Commons Library said. The source cited the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry, which “has been going on for almost eight years without reporting”.

The conclusion of the UK inquiry could potentially coincide with the next general election, which is expected to take place before May 2024.

Is there public support for the investigation?

In a survey by ICM conducted in March 2021 for The guard47% of more than 2,000 respondents said they “support a public inquiry that has legal powers to compel people to testify under oath”. Only 18% were against, while 35% said they neither supported nor opposed an investigation or did not know.

Notable supporters of the public inquiry include Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaign group. The public inquiry into Covid-19: what you need to know

Fry Electronics Team

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