COVID-19: Atticus Communications Consultancy and Pro Bono Support

COVID-19 continues to have a profound impact on the UK and across the world. Many lives have been tragically impacted while the wider economy remains under significant pressure. Governments, including in the UK, have introduced measures to help shore up the economy, yet many businesses are still struggling. In response, Atticus is offering pro bono support to a number of organisations impacted by the pandemic.



Our team is well placed to help guide your business through the current crisis. We stand ready to assist with any public affairs or communications challenges you may have. Although we would like to help as many teams as possible, we are cognisant of our finite capacity for this offering. We will strive to answer any and all of your queries during this crisis.

If you would like to get in touch to see how Atticus may be of service to your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact us: info@atticuscomms.com




Highlights from the UK Government’s daily press briefing

Monday, 21 February 2022:


On 21st February 2022, the Prime Minister made a statement on living with Covid-19, which confirmed that from Thursday 24 February, the Government will remove all remaining domestic restrictions in law. This confirmed that the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive covid-19 test would end.

The Prime Minister described the plan to move from Government restrictions to personal responsibility, while maintaining contingent capabilities to respond to new variants. He added there were now sufficient levels of immunity to complete the transition to relying on vaccines and treatments rather than on Government intervention. The Prime Minister confirmed that today’s strategy showed the structure of the approach centred around four principles. We have provided more detail on each of the principles below.

1. The Government will remove all remaining domestic restrictions in law
  • Confirmed that from Thursday 24 February, the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive covid-19 test would end.
  • Added that self-isolation support payments would also end, although confirmed that SSP covid provisions could be claimed for a further month.
  • Said this signalled the end of routine contact tracing and said the Government would no longer ask vaccinated close contacts and under 18s to test daily for 7 days.
  • In addition, the legal requirement to self-isolate would end for close contacts not fully vaccinated.
  • Confirmed that until 1 April the Government would still advise people testing positive to stay at home, but following this date would encourage those with covid-19 symptoms to exercise personal responsibility.
  • Said large scale testing for omicron was now less valuable in preventing serious illness.
  • Outlined that the test and trace budget for 2020-21 exceeded budget of Home Office, costing a further £15.7 billion in this financial year and £2 billion in January alone at height of Omicron.
  • Stressed this must now be scaled back.
  • Confirmed that from today, the Government were removing guidance for staff and students in education and childcare settings to test twice weekly.
  • Confirmed that from 1 April, free symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public would end.
  • Added free symptomatic tests would continue to be available for the most vulnerable and oldest age groups.
  • Said the Government were working with retailers to ensure people could buy tests as necessary.
  • In addition, from April 1, said the Government would no longer recommend the use of voluntary covid status certification.
  • Confirmed that all remaining 20 temporary provisions of the Coronavirus Act would expire.

2. The Government will continue to protect the most vulnerable with targeted vaccines and treatments
  • Said the UK Government had procured enough vaccine doses to anticipate a wide range of JCVI recommendations.
  • Highlighted that the Government had today accepted JCVI advice for a spring booster to those most vulnerable to covid to protect against potential resurgence.


3. The Government will maintain its resilience to respond to risks, including continuing the ONS survey to track the virus in granular detail
  • Outlined that capabilities to ramp up testing where necessary were being prepared.
  • Stressed the aim to respond to future risks through pharmaceutical intervention as a first line.


4. The Government will build on innovation
  • Said the Vaccines Taskforce were continuing to ensure access to vaccines as they became available.
  • Added the Therapeutics Taskforce was continuing to support seven national priority clinical trial platforms.
  • Outlined the UK was working with international partners on future pandemic preparedness, including an early warning system, and to make safe vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics available within first 100 days of new threat being identified.
  • Said the UK was hosting a pandemic preparedness summit next month.


Monday 12 July 2021:


This evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a press conference where he confirmed that England would move to the final stage of Roadmap out of lockdown. 

Below are the key highlights from the UK Government’s press briefing:

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson noted that England would move to the final stage of the COVID-19 unlock roadmap on 19 July
  • Johnson noted that the instruction to ‘work from home where you can’ will be removed
  • The government expects and recommends that face coverings are worn in crowded and enclosed spaces
  • The government will set out guidance for businesses who are gradually returning to work over the summer
  • Johnson stated that there would be updated guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable
  • The test, trace, and isolate system will remain in place
  • By 19 July, two-thirds of adults will have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and every adult would have been offered the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Monday 05 July 2021:


This evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a press conference where he set out further detilas on the final step of England’s easing of lockdown restrictions.

Below are the key highlights from the UK Government’s press briefing:

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that all legal COVID-19 restrictions would end at Step 4 of the roadmap, expected to be on 19 July
  • Johnson set out the next steps noting the following:
  • People will no longer be told to work from home
  • Second vaccines for under-40s will be accelerated, occurring after eight weeks instead of 12
  • All businesses will be able to reopen, including nightclubs
  • All legal limits on indoor and outdoor meetings will go
  • The 1-metre rule will be removed
  • Legal obligations to wear a face covering will go. However, guidance will be issued on where to wear them
  • Covid-status certificates will not be required by the government to access venues, but businesses can choose to use them
  • Test and trace will continue, but the government seeks to replace isolation with daily testing
  • Plans to replace bubbles for school pupils will be announced tomorrow
  • Plans to replace isolation for fully vaccinated people returning from amber list countries will be announced this week
  • Johnson added that the final decision on easing lockdown in England would be taken on 12 July
  • The Prime Minister stated that he expects the UK to have offered every adult a first dose by 19 July
  • Johnson confirmed the UK has the highest proportion of the population vaccinated of any nation in Europe, aside from Malta

Monday 14 June 2021:


This evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a press conference where he confirmed that he would delay removing COVID-19 restrictions in England until 19 July.

Below are the key highlights from the UK Government’s press briefing:

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that he would delay the removal of COVID-19 restrictions in England until 19 July
  • The Prime Minister noted that the interval between first and second COVID-19 jabs would be slashed from 12 weeks to 8 weeks for the over-40s
  • Downing Street confirmed that the latest data showed the Delta variant was between 40-80 per cent more transmissible
  • Johnson added that by Monday 19 July, the Government would aim to have double-jabbed 66% of the adult population, including:
  • Everyone over 50
  • All vulnerable people
  • All health workers
  • All frontline workers
  • Everyone over 40 who had received their first dose by mid-May
  • The Prime Minister stated that the target to give every adult a first dose of vaccine would be brought forward to 19 July
  • The Prime Minister noted that if after two weeks the risk diminishes, the government reserves the possibility to proceed to Step 4 of the roadmap



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