Department of Health & Social Care policy paper: JCHR report on Covid-19 human rights implications, government response

This is the Government’s formal response to the recommendations made by the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its report ‘The Government’s response to COVID-19: Human Rights Implications’ published on 21 September 2020.

The Committee’s report seeks to inform the six-month review of the Coronavirus Legislation required by the Coronavirus Act 2020. The report raises points on some of the measures the Government has
used in its response to the virus.

The Government welcomes the JCHR’s report on the human rights implications of the Government’s response to COVID-19. As the report points out, the central aim of the Government’s response has been to protect lives. The Coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented global impact that has severely affected public health, the economy and society.

The Government is mindful that the spread of the virus has caused hardship for many people in the UK over a sustained period. This has been
particularly difficult for those areas subject to additional restrictions since the summer due to a continued high prevalence of the disease. Balancing consideration of the economic and social implications of restrictions with the need to protect public health and make sure the NHS does not become overwhelmed is challenging, but the Government has been committed to a proportionate and flexible response.

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