The update to our Strategic Framework takes stock of where we are in the pandemic and sets out both our activity on various fronts to respond to COVID-19 and its associated harms and our approach to managing COVID-19 effectively for as long as necessary.
We expect the epidemic to now move into a calmer phase, made possible by the remarkable progress on vaccination and in new treatments, which have both helped to reduce the severity of the disease. COVID-19 remains a threat, but we are hopeful that this threat will continue to reduce as we head into the spring and summer.
As a result, we expect a much lower level of intervention may be needed. We aim and expect to rely far less in future on regulation and more on good public health behaviours and adaptations to working environments and practices, taking account of the significant efforts made by businesses throughout the pandemic to keep operating while safeguarding staff and customers.
However there is always the possibility for new variants of concern and the Strategic Framework sets out our strategy for responding to that, should it become necessary.
We will continue to carefully monitor the state of the epidemic and will review the public health threat posed by COVID-19 in light of the latest scientific, clinical and public health advice. As we have throughout the epidemic, we will continue to follow the principles set out in our Framework for Decision Making when considering whether protective measures are necessary.
Were it necessary to introduce measures, careful consideration would be given to the balance of the 4 harms and the state of the epidemic at that time to ensure that any regulations are necessary and proportionate.
Notwithstanding the possibility of future variants, our aim should be to manage the virus on a routine basis as far as possible. Adopting sensible behaviours and making basic, appropriate adaptations will help us to do so.
We remain committed to transparency and will publish impact assessments of any measures and keep Parliament and the public informed.
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback