News story

New government structures to coordinate response to coronavirus

The Prime Minister has set up new ministerial structures to coordinate, prioritise and respond to the coronavirus pandemic across government.

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Four new implementation committees focusing on health, public sector preparedness, economy and international response, will feed into a new daily C-19 meeting, which will be chaired by the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister will continue to chair regular UK COBR meetings to take strategic decisions and review overall progress in the campaign to contain, delay and mitigate coronavirus. The additional daily C-19 meeting of key ministers and officials will monitor progress and refine the measures agreed by COBR. The chairs of the implementation committees - the Chancellor, the Health Secretary, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Foreign Secretary - will attend the daily C-19 meeting.

The Prime Minister has been clear that countering this pandemic will require significant national effort from government, businesses, charities, communities and citizens across the UK. The implementation committees will regularly meet with key representatives from relevant sectors to inform their decision making.

Recognising coronavirus presents unique challenges economically, internationally and across a wide range of sectors, the four implementation committees are:

  • Healthcare: chaired by the Health Secretary to focus on the preparedness of the NHS, notably ensuring capacity in the critical care system for those worst affected, the medical and social package of support for those to whom we will be providing the new shielding regime
  • General Public Sector: chaired by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to look at preparedness across the rest of the public and critical national infrastructure, excluding the NHS
  • Economic and Business: chaired by the Chancellor, with the Business Secretary as deputy chair, to consider economic and business impact and response, including supply chain resilience. It will also coordinate roundtables with key sectors to be chaired by relevant Secretaries of State
  • International: chaired by the Foreign Secretary, to consider our international response to the crisis through the G7, G20 and other mechanisms, including like-minded groups, and the UK five-point plan

Civil servants and the UK’s leading experts will continue to support the government’s efforts and contribute to our approach, which is led by the best scientific advice.

Published 17 March 2020