Coronavirus act

Does the data support renewing Covid emergency powers?

Last night MPs voted by 484 to 76 to renew the Coronavirus Act, which grants the state emergency powers to further control – and shut down – most parts of society. The Liberal Democrats voted against the extension, along with 35 Conservative MPs who rebelled and voted against the government, citing as their main concern the widening gap between these unprecedented powers and the danger Covid-19 presents in the UK. The latest iteration of the bill has been renewed until September – three months after the last date in Boris Johnson’s roadmap – and includes the toughest restrictions on international travel yet. When the Prime Minister announced his roadmap out of lockdown last month,

Vaccines should mean more freedom – not less

Do vaccines lead to freedom – or to more lockdown rules? That very question would have seemed bizarre a few weeks ago, when Matt Hancock told this magazine that he’d ‘cry freedom’ when the most vulnerable had been protected. But now, things are swinging the other way. The end of the second wave in Britain (infections and intensive care admissions are down 95 per cent from the peak) has not been followed by reopening. Instead, it’s being used as rationale to continue lockdown for months to come. The latest is international travel: the freedom to leave the country. As we reach the milestone of over half of UK adults having