Preparing, responding and re-opening: Lessons from the UK to emerge during the COVID-19 pandemic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A year after the first human cases of Covid-19 were identified in late 2019, the global Covid-19 pandemic had already killed more than 2.25 million people and infected more than 103 million people. By late 2020, the disease caused by this novel coronavirus had resulted in devastating health, economic, social and environmental impacts on countries across the world. In attempting to reduce these impacts, governments have introduced a wide range of different measures and with varying levels of success. The novel coronavirus has hit Europe especially hard, and the UK has had one of the continent’s worst Covid-19 outbreaks, recording among the highest Covid-19 deaths per million people. The UK Government has taken numerous measures to minimise the virus’s impacts across three stages of the pandemic: preparedness, responding, and re-opening. This study evaluates the UK pandemic risk governance approach by examining the strengths, weaknesses and challenges across these three stages. The study is based on a systematic desk review of publications in the Science Direct, Emerald and Google Scholar databases. A literature review protocol was developed in carrying out the study. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, forty-six papers were selected from the three databases for the review. The analysis revealed several best practices within the UK pandemic risk governance system but also exposed shortcomings and challenges related to each of the preparedness, response and re-opening stages. Further analysis of this literature also revealed potential strategies to overcome these challenges. These included strengthening pandemic preparedness measures, strengthening social and economic support systems and assuring risk governance mechanisms. The study provides valuable insights on areas to be strengthened for future pandemic preparedness and response measures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCOVID 19: Impact, Mitigation, Opportunities and Building Resilience
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Adversity to Serendipity
EditorsRanjith Senaratne, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Shanthi Mendis, Prema-chandra Athukotala
PublisherNational Science Foundation of Sri Lanka
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9786245896004
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2021


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