Questions and answers about coronavirus and the UK economy

Questions and answers about coronavirus and the UK economy

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Reality check

While more lockdown restrictions will be eased in England on Monday, Covid-19 continues to affect the lives and livelihoods of people all over the world. Ensuring a successful vaccine rollout remains critical for economic recovery, both at home and abroad.

Science, technology & innovation

Should patents on Covid-19 vaccines be waived?

There is much debate about whether the patents on Covid-19 vaccines should be waived to allow low-income countries to produce doses for themselves. In current circumstances, such a course of action is likely to have little effect for good or ill.

Health, physical & mental

How does the market for vaccines work?

Effective vaccines are developed through collaboration between governments, publicly funded research universities and for-profit pharmaceutical companies. But the incentives to produce the doses can often leave out lower-income countries.

Transport & infrastructure

What is the future of commuting to work?

Around half the UK labour force is currently working from home. Surveys of employees conducted in March and April 2021 suggest that spending two to three days a week at home is the most common expected working pattern after the pandemic.


Arms race

Even as the UK’s vaccine rollout continues to gather momentum, the moral and economic arguments for ensuring global immunisation mount. At home, promoting an even recovery across regions and sectors remains paramount.

Aid & international development

Vaccine nationalism: why do some countries cooperate and others go it alone?

Faced with the severe health and economic damage caused by Covid-19, governments may wish to protect their citizens by securing vaccines first. But such ‘vaccine nationalism’ has consequences and may not be the wise choice in the longer term.

Nations, regions & cities

What explains Northern Ireland’s long-standing problem of low productivity?

Low productivity is widely recognised as one of the most important economic challenges facing the UK. But it is a problem that has affected Northern Ireland’s economy for the past 100 years – and it is yet to be solved.

All Answers