The Government must stop “moving the goalposts” in decisions on coronavirus restrictions and publish data thresholds for its roadmap out of lockdown, MPs have urged.
A report by the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee criticised a lack of transparency from ministers throughout the pandemic.
It said the framework for lockdown and tiering decisions changed “repeatedly”, with decisions not always appearing to reflect new information.
The committee warned that this had led to confusion and mistrust among the public – despite trust being a “crucial factor” in the success of the response to the crisis.
Leisure and hospitality sectors had not seen the data underpinning decisions to put restrictions on their businesses, the report noted.
The MPs said the Government’s priority must be to make sure that in now takes a “clear and consistent” framework for making lockdown decisions.
They said ministers should publish thresholds for moving between steps in the roadmap out of the current national lockdown.
The report added: “The framework for lockdown and tiering decisions has changed repeatedly throughout this pandemic.
“While we do not object to the inclusion of new metrics (such as vaccines), changes in the framework to date have not always appeared to reflect new information.
“This has amounted to a moving of the goalposts, which creates uncertainty, makes it impossible to see trends and therefore must stop.”
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association, said: “This report is a damning reflection of the failure of the Government to keep the public and nation properly informed during the greatest national and global health crisis in recent memory.