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Government should be more open on how it decides on regional Covid tiers

22 October 2020

The House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee says the Government should publish the data used to decide on moving regions and cities in England between Tier 1, 2 and 3 of COVID-19 restrictions.

  • 31st Report (pdf)
  • 31st Report (html)
  • Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (Medium) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1103)
  • Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (High) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1104)
  • Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (Very High) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1105)
  • Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (High) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1128)
  • Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (Very High) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1131)

The call comes in the Committee’s report on the five Statutory Instruments that came into force between 14 and 17 October.

The Committee welcomes the principle of a three tier classification system, saying it is an improvement on the previous complicated system of repeatedly amended locally tailored restrictions, but urge the Government to “provide more information about the underlying data relied on in any decision to move an area between tiers”.

The Committee say the methodology being used for weighing these factors is not transparent enough with no explanation of the balance between economic factors, local rates of unemployment or incidence of wider ill health in the area concerned.

The Committee also raise concerns with the enforcement of the regulations, pointing out that the ban on gatherings includes 17 complex exemptions which may make it difficult for the police to enforce.

The report also suggests the House may wish to press the Government to routinely provide more detailed explanations alongside future regulations moving areas between tiers.