Throughout the pandemic the Government has sought robust scientific evidence and advice to guide decisions regarding the measures taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and its sub-groups has undertaken significant wider analysis and evaluation including consideration of economic impacts, the level of compliance with measures, amount of enforcement needed and impacts felt by local authorities. The measures taken have been effective at slowing the virus while balancing the need to protect the economy.
The Minister for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP) is leading cross-Government work to tackle disparities experienced by ethnic minority groups The second quarterly report, published on 26 February 2021, set out work conducted since the first quarterly report, including reviewing the effectiveness of current actions being undertaken by the Government to lessen disparities in infection and death rates. The report reflects that considerable efforts are underway to address these disparities, including through the Community Champions scheme led by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which has provided £23.75 million in funding to local authorities. The report commits the Government to monitoring the impact of the scheme. The report found that the direct impacts of COVID-19 improved for ethnic minorities as a whole during the early second wave. A copy of the Second quarterly report on progress to address COVID-19 health inequalities is attached. The Government remains committed to addressing ethnic disparities and tackling deprivation will be a particular focus of work in the third quarter.