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A pile of handmade face masks on a table.

An article in The Conversation by Patricia Kingori and Ruth Ogden explores views of people in England on who should decide when and if the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘over’.

Following the government’s announcement in February that COVID restrictions would be lifted in England, the authors conducted a survey with 1,000 people across the country.

Of the people surveyed, 57% disagreed that the removal of COVID restrictions indicated the end of the pandemic. Half of the participants believed it should be scientists who decide when the pandemic ends, fewer than 5% believed that the government should decide.

Beliefs about who should end the pandemic varied between groups of people. Men were more likely than women to believe the decision should rest with the government. Unvaccinated people were more likely to believe that a public vote should be held to decide. And being vaccinated was associated with a greater belief that this decision should be taken by scientists.

The article highlights the challenge of reconciling these differences as the country emerges from the pandemic.

You can read the full article on The Conversation.

Patricia Kingori is a Professor of Global Health Ethics at the Ethox Centre and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, and Ruth Ogden is a Reader in Experimental Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University.

Patricia KingoriRuth Ogden

Photo by Vera Davidova on Unsplash