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16 June 2020

Public Health England publishes findings on disparities in risks and outcomes from COVID-19

Introduced by

Public Health England

Targeted at

Public, policymakers, public health services, others involved in the pandemic response


Announced on 4 May 2020. First part of the review published on 2 June 2020. This part of the review – including a literature review and findings from stakeholder engagement – published on 16 June 2020

Stated aims

To understand the extent that ethnicity impacts upon risk and outcomes. Literature review to identify if inequalities exist in how people from ethnic minority groups are affected by COVID-19 infection when compared to the white British population. Also to understand the social and structural determinants of health that may impact disparities in COVID-19 incidence, treatment, morbidity, and mortality in people from ethnic minority groups. Stakeholder engagement to provide insights into the factors that may be influencing the relationship and impact of COVID-19 on people from ethnic minority communities and strategies for addressing inequalities


The Public Health England (PHE) report summarises findings from a literature review and stakeholder engagement exercise. The main themes identified from the stakeholder engagement were: longstanding inequalities exacerbated by COVID-19, increased risk of exposure to and acquisition of COVID-19, increased risk of complications and death from COVID-19, racism, discrimination, stigma, fear and trust.

The report makes several recommendations for policy and practice – including that 'COVID-19 recovery strategies actively reduce inequalities caused by the wider determinants of health to create long-term sustainable change'.


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