What have we learned from tracking every government policy on COVID-19 for the past two years?

Research note

This paper, in collaboration with the the International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) uses data from the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) to describe the broad patterns of government responses over the first two years of the pandemic.

Understanding what works, and what does not, first requires valid measurement of what governments have and have not done. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an extraordinary range of policy responses from governments. These measures include efforts to control transmission through closure and containment (eg forms of social distancing or lockdown), health-focused measures like contact tracing, testing, and mask wearing, economic support policies to address the impacts of both the pandemic and responses to it, and, since 2021, policies to prioritise and incentivise vaccination.