Baroness Hallett, Chair of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry, has asked me to let you know that the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry have been finalised by the Prime Minister. You will find our Terms of Reference on our website, at

The Chair and the whole Inquiry team would once again like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation for their involvement. Baroness Hallett is pleased to see all of her recommendations accepted by the Prime Minister. These Terms of Reference set the outline of the Inquiry but the Chair has discretion to set out a more detailed scope, covering the issues that will be investigated further as the Inquiry progresses.

The Prime Minister has accepted Baroness Hallet’s recommendations that the Terms of Reference be expanded to include:

Children and young people, including the impact on health, wellbeing and social care education and early years provision

Impacts on mental health and wellbeing of the UK population

Collaboration between central government, Devolved Administrations, local authorities and the voluntary and community sector.

The Prime Minister has also accepted the Chair’s recommendation that the Terms of Reference be reframed to put possible inequalities at the forefront so that the investigation into the unequal impacts of the pandemic runs through the whole Inquiry. This important reframing will ensure the Inquiry is inclusive in its approach.

Finally, there are changes relating to a number of key areas that we heard about during the consultation, including care in the home, enforcement of the rules, support for victims of domestic abuse, and first contact with the NHS, including 111 and 999 services.

When she met bereaved families during the consultation period, the Chair made seven promises on how she will run the Inquiry – this includes a commitment to keeping those who suffered the most during the pandemic at the heart of the Inquiry’s work, and to run the Inquiry openly, and fairly. You can watch the Chair’s video statement on her seven promises here. The statement is also available in British Sign Language, and with subtitles.

We will continue to work completely independently of government. The Inquiry has now started the detailed legal work that will enable it to begin hearings next year. This includes gathering evidence and assessing who to call as witnesses. The Chair will set out her approach for the next stage of the Inquiry’s work in July. Further information on this will be provided in due course. We will also keep our website updated on matters such as how individuals and organisations can apply for Core Participant status.

We are committed to running a wide-reaching listening project that will hear the experiences of people who have suffered during the pandemic. We will hear from people across the whole of the UK, and will ensure that the listening project is accessible to all parts of society with a particular focus on disadvantaged and under represented groups. The Inquiry will share further information on the listening project later this year, including what the project is for, who can take part, how it will work, when it will start, and how it will link with the Inquiry’s

Ben Connah
UK Covid-19 Inquiry Secretary