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Removing Covid restrictions puts Disabled people at risk

10 February 2022

The Government is proposing removing all Covid restrictions by the end of this month.

DR UK’s Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “DR UK has grave concerns about the proposed removal of Covid restrictions at the end of February. Where is the science and evidence behind this thinking? There is a small but significant number of Disabled people who still cannot participate in day to day life because of the risk of severe illness or death from Covid. The Government should be doing everything in its power to ensure that society seeks to protect those at most risk from Covid as long as there is a global pandemic. Instead, it appears to be pretending that Covid has gone away and everyone can carry on as normal. At risk Disabled people still need protections, including employment and income protections, and access to food and medicine without increased risk. Given the size of the at risk group compared to the start of the pandemic, there is no sensible reason why the Government cannot reintroduce such protections instead of abandoning at risk Disabled people.”

The latest ONS data on the impacts of Covid on Disabled people shows that three quarters of Disabled people are still worried about the effects of the pandemic on our lives. Disabled people continued to have on average poorer well-being ratings than non-disabled people across all four well-being measures (life satisfaction, feeling that things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety). Almost 80% of Disabled people reported feeling stressed or anxious about the pandemic, with half enduring greater mental distress, and three quarters of Disabled people reported increased living costs, compared to 64% of non-Disabled people. Read the data here.