Coronavirus: Disease Control

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 25th March 2021.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister (Defence) (Armed Forces and Defence Procurement), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the scientific basis was for the decision to allow children's playgrounds to remain open while closing outdoor sports courts during the 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

Photo of Catherine West Catherine West Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the scientific advice for the decision to close outdoor sports facilities during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021 and keep children's playgrounds open.

Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Paymaster General

Throughout the pandemic, we have consistently adapted our response as we have learnt more about the virus and how best to tackle it. Decisions on when to lift restrictions, and in which order, seek to strike a balance between the epidemiological evidence and advice, the impact lockdown is having on people’s health (including mental health and disproportionate impacts on certain groups), wellbeing, and the economy. Scientific evidence supporting the government response to coronavirus is regularly published here - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/scientific-evidence-supporting-the-government-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19.

On 22 February the Government published its 'COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021' roadmap to recovery. The roadmap outlines four steps for cautiously easing restrictions across England. The first measures of Step 1 took place on the 8th March. Schools breaking up for the Easter holidays will provide an opportunity for further, limited relaxation particularly in outdoor settings where there is less risk. Therefore from 29 March, outdoor sports and leisure facilities will reopen and organised sport (for adults and children) will resume.

The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of our country.

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