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Boris Johnson: inquiry into handling of Covid crisis will start spring 2022

The Guardian logo The Guardian 12/05/2021 Aubrey Allegretti
a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Photograph: Anthony Harvey/Rex © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Anthony Harvey/Rex

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A public inquiry into the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic will begin next spring, Boris Johnson has announced.

The prime minister said yesterday that he would launch the inquiry during the new session of parliament. These usually last around a year, though they can go on longer if the government wants.

LICHFIELD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Members of the public receive their Covid-19 vaccinations at Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire on February 26, 2021 in Lichfield, England. Lichfield Cathedral is one of many unusual venues that have been adapted for administering vaccines during the Covid-19, coronavirus pandemic. Over 19 million people in the United Kingdom have had their first Covid-19 vaccination, including 90 percent of over-70s.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) © 2021 Getty Images LICHFIELD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Members of the public receive their Covid-19 vaccinations at Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire on February 26, 2021 in Lichfield, England. Lichfield Cathedral is one of many unusual venues that have been adapted for administering vaccines during the Covid-19, coronavirus pandemic. Over 19 million people in the United Kingdom have had their first Covid-19 vaccination, including 90 percent of over-70s. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Given that Johnson only put a loose timeframe on the inquiry, it left bereaved families disappointed – they wanted one to be launched by summer at the latest.


Video: Johnson confirms coronavirus public inquiry to be held in spring 2022 (Evening Standard)

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Downing Street has previously batted away calls to establish the inquiry soon by saying officials’ time would be better spent tackling the pandemic.

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Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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