Today, the Chair of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry, Baroness Hallett, has set out an updated timetable for hearings in 2024.
Public hearings for the Inquiry’s fourth investigation, into vaccines and therapeutics (Module 4), will be rescheduled.
The hearings were provisionally scheduled to take place in the summer of 2024. They will now take place at a later date to enable organisations to prioritise providing evidence for the Inquiry’s third investigation on the impact of the pandemic on healthcare (Module 3).
I know the postponement of these hearings will be disappointing for some.
I want to ensure our hearings in 2024 are as effective as possible and I recognise the increasing pressure on organisations to respond to requests and provide information to the Inquiry.
I wish to reassure you that we will hold these hearings as soon as possible and I remain committed to not allowing the Inquiry hearings to run beyond my original aim of summer 2026.
Work is underway for the Inquiry’s first six investigations, considering the UK’s preparedness, core political decision-making, impact on healthcare systems, vaccines and therapeutics, procurement and the care sector. It has concluded public hearings for its first two investigations and public hearings for Module 2A – examining decision making and political governance in Scotland – start on Tuesday 16 January.
Supporting the Inquiry’s legal investigations is Every Story Matters, the Inquiry’s UK-wide listening exercise, which will provide evidence about the human impact of the pandemic on the UK population. The Inquiry will also deliver a bespoke and targeted research project, hearing directly from children and young people most affected by the pandemic to help inform its investigations. This research begins shortly.
Rescheduling Module 4 public hearings will help ensure the Inquiry receives timely disclosure of evidence for Module 3 ahead of its hearings in autumn this year.
The Inquiry will provide further details on the rescheduled public hearing dates in the next few weeks.
There will be no preliminary hearing for Module 4 on 8 February. The second preliminary hearing for Module 4 will take place on 22 May 2024 at the Inquiry’s Hearing Centre at Dorland House in London.