UK Measures to Contrast COVID-19 

  1. Introduction
    The UK government has recently adopted a series of recommendations aimed to face the Coronavirus outbreak due to the rise in the number of infections and deaths caused by this virus. The strict approach of the UK Government would be in line with the measures adopted by the other countries in Europe, such as Italy or Spain. In such respect, the purpose of this note updated as at 23 March 2020 is to summarise all the recent UK Government’s measures aimed to fight the spread of the virus and support businesses.

  2. First announcements
    The first indications of the UK government were addressed to people over 70 and people with pre-existing diseases, who were suggested not to attend cruises, given the high density of people and the number of cases already occurred on board. Indeed, only on 12th March the UK Chief Medical Officers raised the risk to the UK from moderate to high. By virtue of the latter, local, mayoral and Police and Crime Commissioner elections that were due to take place in May 2020 have been postponed until May 2021. On 16 March 2020 the Government published new and updated guidance to provide affected sectors, including schools and transport, with the latest advice on managing the threat from COVID-19.

    The Public Health England (PHE) guidance provided important information for specific sectors on what precautions to take, what to do if someone develops symptoms and how to limit the spread of the virus. In general, in all the sectors taken into consideration, it was recommended, with regard to combating the spread of the virus, to remind those involved of the suggestions of public health. On 17 March 2020, UK Government decided to intensify preventive measures. For this reason, it established not only that individuals were asked to self-isolate for 7 days from the onset of COVID-19 symptoms, but also that any individuals in the household was asked to self-isolate for 14 days from that moment as well.

    Those who remained well, were under 70 and did not have any underlying health condition were advised to limit their social contact where possible, including using less public transport, working at home and considering not going to public places such as pubs, restaurants, theatres and bars. Instead, those who were over 70, had an underlying health condition or were pregnant were strongly advised against these activities and, in general, to considerably limit face-to-face interaction with other people. Despite the tightening of the measures taken for the reasons mentioned above, the number of people contracting COVID-19 has maintained a worrying growth.

    Precisely for this reason, the UK Government has decided, as of March 20, to take very stringent measures, in line with what has been decided by the other states that have found themselves - sooner or later - facing the same state of emergency due to this pandemic. However, with regard to schools the UK Government decided to close them only partially. Indeed, this solution could allow to reduce the number of social interactions by lowering the number of the children moving around local areas as far as possible, at the same time granting the educational service to those children who are vulnerable and have parents who are critical to the COVID-19 response, in order for the latter to be able to keep on working. UK measures to contrast COVID-19



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