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Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 95975, tabled on 28 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason covid-19 was removed from the list of high consequence infectious diseases on 19 March 2020.

Answered on

6 November 2020

The four nations public health high consequence infectious disease (HCID) group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID, based on the information that was available during the very early stages of the outbreak.

Once more was known about COVID-19, United Kingdom public health bodies reviewed the available information against the HCID criteria and noted certain changes. These changes included the increase in information available about mortality rates, which are low overall amongst the general population; greater clinical awareness; and the availability of a specific and sensitive laboratory test for the virus.

COVID-19 has not been considered a HCID in the UK since 19 March 2020, but this reclassification has not affected the Government’s response to COVID-19, which remains a comprehensive national effort.