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  • Writer's picturegypsylifenat

Covid-19 and impact on the community

The Covid-19 pandemic has significant impacts for all communities across the world,

but it is clear that some communities and demographic groups have experienced

disparities in the impact and outcomes, especially amongst ethnic minority groups.

To date however, there has been very little attention paid to the impact of Covid-19

on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.


With the support of NHS England and Community Innovations Enterprise, GypsyLife

who are an independent, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community group with

extensive experience of providing health advice and support to GRT communities

across England, have captured the lived experiences of community members while

they try to cope with the pandemic.


We have been gathering data through interviews and surveys involving 1150 individuals. The data is largely qualitative, though where possible quantitative analysis has also been undertaken. Our findings show that the spread of the virus in the community is alarming, for example:


- 16% report having an immediate family member who has the virus and 27%

report having a wider family member who has the virus

- 27% know someone in the wider GRT community who has the virus and 21%

someone in their immediate community and neighbors

- 4% of respondents report having the virus themselves


The risk of the spread of infection in the community has been greatly affected by

problems with social distancing, in particular on sites. For example, some site

owners were said to be causing tensions and problems by not ensuring that social

distancing was adhered to properly. Trying to adapt to social distancing has had a disturbing impact on how people feel about their culture and community.


When asked how they were coping with the pandemic, the majority (47.6%) said

badly and a further 17% said very badly, with only one third feeling that were coping

ok.




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