[/ˈvɪdʒɪl(ə)nt/] adjective 1. keeping careful watch. 2. alertly watchful, especially to avoid danger. "the public remained vigilant so as to protect their common interest during and after the crisis"

Health-care systems and social programmes have been weakened by decades of underinvestment in public health services and other social programmes, accelerated by the global financial crisis of 2007–2008. Consequently, they are ill equipped to respond effectively and expeditiously to cope with the intensity of the current pandemic.

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: a statement on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and economic, social and cultural rights

This emergency has shone a spotlight on the glaring inequalities in our society – who has a roof to shelter under and who does not, who has savings to carry on buying food when income stops and who does not, who can stay informed and connected online and who cannot, who can practice safe social distancing and who cannot. It is the policies of the past which left us so vulnerable as a society to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The measures introduced during the Covid-19 emergency show that the state can take immediate steps to protect everyone in our society. We can act decisively and with public support to end homelessness, value essential workers, secure incomes and open public services to all, including asylum seekers.

Artwork, vigilance
Policy Vigilance

We've been charting policy changes since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. These should not be 'emergency' policies. They are fundamental rights. We must now build on these emergency protections so that these rights can be permanently guaranteed for all.

Below is a list of policies and legislation introduced by the government to enhance social and economic rights protections during the emergency. We'll keep updating the list over the coming weeks and months. If you would like to receive daily email updates on news items issued by Stormont departments during the Covid-19 emergency, and other updates from #NoOneLeftBehind, click the button below to sign up.

Filter by theme:
5 results for Health (ordered by date of announcement)

Rural Communities

New and redirected funding to support rural communities in dealing with impacts of Covid-19

Announced on: Mon 20 Apr 2020

Health Staff Support

New scheme for psychological support for health care staff: a "broad range of resources"

Announced on: Thu 16 Apr 2020

Pharmacies and Prescriptions

New volunteer-led service implemented to support community pharmacies in their services to those who are self-isolating or shielding

Announced on: Wed 15 Apr 2020

Advice Line

Provision of free-to-contact advice line for those seeking guidance in relation to Covid-19

Announced on: Wed 01 Apr 2020


A written ministerial statement has announced a temporary scheme for the early release of prisoners

Announced on: Mon 30 Mar 2020