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Codebook for the Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker

Codebook version 3.7
11 March 2022

This document is the authoritative codebook for the Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker (GitHub repo, university website). The dataset contains 21 indicators and a miscellaneous notes field organised into five groups:

For more detailed guidance about the codebook and how we interpret the indicators, see the coding interpretation guide. This ensures consistency, and standardizes coding across the database.

Updates to this codebook are recorded in the changelog below.

Most indicators are recorded on an ordinal scale that represents the level of strictness of the policy. Four of the indicators (E3, E4, H4 and H5) are recorded as a US dollar value of fiscal spending. V1 records categorical data and the ranked order of prioritised groups for vaccination in a population.

Government coronavirus policies often vary by region within countries. We code the most stringent government policy that is in place in a country/territory, as represented by the highest ordinal value. Sometimes the most stringent policy in a country/territory will only apply to a small part of the population. If the most stringent policy is only present in a limited geographic area or sector (eg perhaps only one state has implemented policies at a high level), we use a binary flag variable to denote this limited scope. Ten of the indicators (C1-C7, H1, H6 and H8) have a flag for whether they are "targeted" to a specific geographical region (flag=0) or whether they are a "general" policy that is applied across the whole country/territory (flag=1).) E1 has a flag to describe whether income support is for just formal sector workers (flag=0) or whether it includes informal workers as well (flag=1). H7 has a flag to describe whether vaccine policy is funded at cost to the individual (flag=0) or by government (flag=1).

As explained in our index methodology documentation, an indicator with flag=0 is weighted lower than flag=1 when calculating overall index values.

We have stopped updating data on our E3, E4, and H4 fiscal indicators. The data for these indicators will still be present in the CSV files, but they are not being actively updated beyond August 2021.

Containment and closure policies

ID Name Description Measurement Coding
C1 C1_School closing Record closings of schools and universities Ordinal scale 0 - no measures
1 - recommend closing or all schools open with alterations resulting in significant differences compared to non-Covid-19 operations
2 - require closing (only some levels or categories, eg just high school, or just public schools)
3 - require closing all levels
Blank - no data
C1_Flag Binary flag for geographic scope 0 - targeted
1- general
Blank - no data
C2 C2_Workplace closing Record closings of workplaces Ordinal scale 0 - no measures
1 - recommend closing (or recommend work from home) or all businesses open with alterations resulting in significant differences compared to non-Covid-19 operation
2 - require closing (or work from home) for some sectors or categories of workers
3 - require closing (or work from home) for all-but-essential workplaces (eg grocery stores, doctors)
Blank - no data
C2_Flag Binary flag for geographic scope 0 - targeted
1- general
Blank - no data
C3 C3_Cancel public events Record cancelling public events Ordinal scale 0 - no measures
1 - recommend cancelling
2 - require cancelling
Blank - no data
C3_Flag Binary flag for geographic scope 0 - targeted
1- general
Blank - no data
C4 C4_Restrictions on gatherings Record limits on gatherings Ordinal scale 0 - no restrictions
1 - restrictions on very large gatherings (the limit is above 1000 people)
2 - restrictions on gatherings between 101-1000 people
3 - restrictions on gatherings between 11-100 people
4 - restrictions on gatherings of 10 people or less
Blank - no data
C4_Flag Binary flag for geographic scope 0 - targeted
1- general
Blank - no data
C5 C5_Close public transport Record closing of public transport Ordinal scale 0 - no measures
1 - recommend closing (or significantly reduce volume/route/means of transport available)
2 - require closing (or prohibit most citizens from using it)
Blank - no data
C5_Flag Binary flag for geographic scope 0 - targeted
1- general
Blank - no data
C6 C6_Stay at home requirements Record orders to "shelter-in-place" and otherwise confine to the home Ordinal scale 0 - no measures
1 - recommend not leaving house
2 - require not leaving house with exceptions for daily exercise, grocery shopping, and 'essential' trips
3 - require not leaving house with minimal exceptions (eg allowed to leave once a week, or only one person can leave at a time, etc)
Blank - no data
C6_Flag Binary flag for geographic scope 0 - targeted
1- general
Blank - no data
C7 C7_Restrictions on internal movement Record restrictions on internal movement between cities/regions Ordinal scale 0 - no measures
1 - recommend not to travel between regions/cities
2 - internal movement restrictions in place
Blank - no data
C7_Flag Binary flag for geographic scope 0 - targeted
1- general
Blank - no data
C8 C8_International travel controls Record restrictions on international travel

Note: this records policy for foreign travellers, not citizens
Ordinal scale 0 - no restrictions
1 - screening arrivals
2 - quarantine arrivals from some or all regions
3 - ban arrivals from some regions
4 - ban on all regions or total border closure
Blank - no data

Economic policies

ID Name Description Measurement Coding
E1 E1_Income support
(for households)
Record if the government is providing direct cash payments to people who lose their jobs or cannot work.

Note: only includes payments to firms if explicitly linked to payroll/salaries
Ordinal scale 0 - no income support
1 - government is replacing less than 50% of lost salary (or if a flat sum, it is less than 50% median salary)
2 - government is replacing 50% or more of lost salary (or if a flat sum, it is greater than 50% median salary)
Blank - no data
E1_Flag Binary flag for sectoral scope 0 - formal sector workers only or informal sector workers only
1 - all workers
E2 E2_Debt/contract relief
(for households)
Record if the government is freezing financial obligations for households (eg stopping loan repayments, preventing services like water from stopping, or banning evictions) Ordinal scale 0 - no debt/contract relief
1 - narrow relief, specific to one kind of contract
2 - broad debt/contract relief
E3 E3_Fiscal measures Announced economic stimulus spending

Note: only record amount additional to previously announced spending
USD Record monetary value in USD of fiscal stimuli, includes any spending or tax cuts NOT included in E4, H4 or H5
0 - no new spending that day
Blank - no data
E4 E4_International support Announced offers of Covid-19 related aid spending to other countries

Note: only record amount additional to previously announced spending
USD Record monetary value in USD
0 - no new spending that day
Blank - no data

Health system policies

ID Name Description Measurement Coding
H1 H1_Public information campaigns Record presence of public info campaigns Ordinal scale 0 - no Covid-19 public information campaign
1 - public officials urging caution about Covid-19
2- coordinated public information campaign (eg across traditional and social media)
Blank - no data
H1_Flag Binary flag for geographic scope 0 - targeted
1- general
Blank - no data
H2 H2_Testing policy Record government policy on who has access to testing

Note: this records policies about testing for current infection (PCR tests) not testing for immunity (antibody test)
Ordinal scale 0 - no testing policy
1 - only those who both (a) have symptoms AND (b) meet specific criteria (eg key workers, admitted to hospital, came into contact with a known case, returned from overseas)
2 - testing of anyone showing Covid-19 symptoms
3 - open public testing (eg "drive through" testing available to asymptomatic people)
Blank - no data
H3 H3_Contact tracing Record government policy on contact tracing after a positive diagnosis

Note: we are looking for policies that would identify all people potentially exposed to Covid-19; voluntary bluetooth apps are unlikely to achieve this
Ordinal scale 0 - no contact tracing
1 - limited contact tracing; not done for all cases
2 - comprehensive contact tracing; done for all identified cases
H4 H4_Emergency investment in healthcare Announced short term spending on healthcare system, eg hospitals, masks, etc

Note: only record amount additional to previously announced spending
USD Record monetary value in USD
0 - no new spending that day
Blank - no data
H5 H5_Investment in vaccines Announced public spending on Covid-19 vaccine development

Note: only record amount additional to previously announced spending
USD Record monetary value in USD
0 - no new spending that day
Blank - no data
H6 H6_Facial Coverings Record policies on the use of facial coverings outside the home
Ordinal scale 0 - No policy
1 - Recommended
2 - Required in some specified shared/public spaces outside the home with other people present, or some situations when social distancing not possible
3 - Required in all shared/public spaces outside the home with other people present or all situations when social distancing not possible
4 - Required outside the home at all times regardless of location or presence of other people
H6_Flag Binary flag for geographic scope 0 - targeted
1- general
Blank - no data
H7 H7_Vaccination Policy Record policies for vaccine delivery for different groups
Ordinal scale 0 - No availability
1 - Availability for ONE of following: key workers/ clinically vulnerable groups (non elderly) / elderly groups
2 - Availability for TWO of following: key workers/ clinically vulnerable groups (non elderly) / elderly groups
3 - Availability for ALL of following: key workers/ clinically vulnerable groups (non elderly) / elderly groups
4 - Availability for all three plus partial additional availability (select broad groups/ages)
5 - Universal availability
H7_Flag Binary flag for cost 0 - At cost to individual (or funded by NGO, insurance, or partially government funded)
1- No or minimal cost to individual (government funded or subsidised)
Blank - no data
H8 H8_Protection of elderly people Record policies for protecting elderly people (as defined locally) in Long Term Care Facilities and/or the community and home setting Ordinal scale 0 - no measures
1 - Recommended isolation, hygiene, and visitor restriction measures in LTCFs and/or elderly people to stay at home
2 - Narrow restrictions for isolation, hygiene in LTCFs, some limitations on external visitors and/or restrictions protecting elderly people at home
3 - Extensive restrictions for isolation and hygiene in LTCFs, all non-essential external visitors prohibited, and/or all elderly people required to stay at home and not leave the home with minimal exceptions, and receive no external visitors
Blank - no data
H8_Flag Binary flag for geographic scope 0 - targeted
1- general
Blank - no data

Vaccination policies

Most of the data under our vaccine indicators are directly recorded by OxCGRT data collectors. These variables are:

ID Name Description Measurement Coding
V1 Vaccine prioritisation

V1_0-4 yrs Infants
V1_5-15 yrs Young people
V1_General 16-19 yrs
V1_General 20-24 yrs
V1_General 25-29 yrs
V1_General 30-34 yrs
V1_General 35-39 yrs
V1_General 40-44 yrs
V1_General 45-49 yrs
V1_General 50-54 yrs
V1_General 55-59 yrs
V1_General 60-64 yrs
V1_General 65-69 yrs
V1_General 70-74 yrs
V1_General 75-79 yrs
V1_General 80+ yrs
V1_At Risk 16-19 yrs
V1_At Risk 20-24 yrs
V1_At Risk 25-29 yrs
V1_At Risk 30-34 yrs
V1_At Risk 35-39 yrs
V1_At Risk 40-44 yrs
V1_At Risk 45-49 yrs
V1_At Risk 50-54 yrs
V1_At Risk 55-59 yrs
V1_At Risk 60-64 yrs
V1_At Risk 65-69 yrs
V1_At Risk 70-74 yrs
V1_At Risk 75-79 yrs
V1_At Risk 80+ yrs
V1_Airport/Border/Airline Staff
V1_Clinically vulnerable/chronic illness/significant underlying health condition (excluding elderly and disabled)
V1_Crowded/communal living conditions (dormitories for migrant workers, temporary accommodations)
V1_Disabled People
V1_Educators
V1_Ethnic minorities
V1_Factory workers
V1_Frontline/essential workers (when subcategories not specified)
V1_Frontline retail workers
V1_Healthcare workers/carers (excluding care home staff)
V1_Military
V1_Other 'high contact' professions/groups (taxi drivers, security guards)
V1_People living with a vulnerable/shielding person or other priority group
V1_Police/ first responders
V1_Pregnant people
V1_Primary and secondary school students
V1_Religious/Spiritual Leaders
V1_Residents in an elderly care home
V1_Staff working in an elderly care home
V1_Tertiary education students
V1_Refugees/migrants
V1_Government Officials
Record the ranked position for different groups within a countries prioritisation plan Rank order Blank – category not selected for prioritisation

1, 2, 3, 4... – category has been selected for prioritisation; number represents the rank of prioritisation; equal-ranked categories will share the same number
V2 Vaccine eligibility/availability

V2_0-4 yrs Infants
V2_5-15 yrs Young people
V2_General 16-19 yrs
V2_General 20-24 yrs
V2_General 25-29 yrs
V2_General 30-34 yrs
V2_General 35-39 yrs
V2_General 40-44 yrs
V2_General 45-49 yrs
V2_General 50-54 yrs
V2_General 55-59 yrs
V2_General 60-64 yrs
V2_General 65-69 yrs
V2_General 70-74 yrs
V2_General 75-79 yrs
V2_General 80+ yrs
V2_At Risk 16-19 yrs
V2_At Risk 20-24 yrs
V2_At Risk 25-29 yrs
V2_At Risk 30-34 yrs
V2_At Risk 35-39 yrs
V2_At Risk 40-44 yrs
V2_At Risk 45-49 yrs
V2_At Risk 50-54 yrs
V2_At Risk 55-59 yrs
V2_At Risk 60-64 yrs
V2_At Risk 65-69 yrs
V2_At Risk 70-74 yrs
V2_At Risk 75-79 yrs
V2_At Risk 80+ yrs
V2_Airport/Border/Airline Staff
V2_Clinically vulnerable/chronic illness/significant underlying health condition (excluding elderly and disabled)
V2_Crowded/communal living conditions (dormitories for migrant workers, temporary accommodations)
V2_Disabled People
V2_Educators
V2_Ethnic minorities
V2_Factory workers
V2_Frontline/essential workers (when subcategories not specified)
V2_Frontline retail workers
V2_Healthcare workers/carers (excluding care home staff)
V2_Military
V2_Other 'high contact' professions/groups (taxi drivers, security guards)
V2_People living with a vulnerable/shielding person or other priority group
V2_Police/ first responders
V2_Pregnant people
V2_Primary and secondary school students
V2_Religious/Spiritual Leaders
V2_Residents in an elderly care home
V2_Staff working in an elderly care home
V2_Tertiary education students
V2_Refugees/migrants
V2_Government Officials
Record which categories of people – regardless of their position in a prioritised rollout plan – are currently receiving vaccines Categorical/ binary Blank – no data
0 - vaccines are not being made available to this category
1 - vaccines are being made available to this category
V3 Vaccine financial support

V3_0-4 yrs Infants
V3_5-15 yrs Young people
V3_General 16-19 yrs
V3_General 20-24 yrs
V3_General 25-29 yrs
V3_General 30-34 yrs
V3_General 35-39 yrs
V3_General 40-44 yrs
V3_General 45-49 yrs
V3_General 50-54 yrs
V3_General 55-59 yrs
V3_General 60-64 yrs
V3_General 65-69 yrs
V3_General 70-74 yrs
V3_General 75-79 yrs
V3_General 80+ yrs
V3_At Risk 16-19 yrs
V3_At Risk 20-24 yrs
V3_At Risk 25-29 yrs
V3_At Risk 30-34 yrs
V3_At Risk 35-39 yrs
V3_At Risk 40-44 yrs
V3_At Risk 45-49 yrs
V3_At Risk 50-54 yrs
V3_At Risk 55-59 yrs
V3_At Risk 60-64 yrs
V3_At Risk 65-69 yrs
V3_At Risk 70-74 yrs
V3_At Risk 75-79 yrs
V3_At Risk 80+ yrs
V3_Airport/Border/Airline Staff
V3_Clinically vulnerable/chronic illness/significant underlying health condition (excluding elderly and disabled)
V3_Crowded/communal living conditions (dormitories for migrant workers, temporary accommodations)
V3_Disabled People
V3_Educators
V3_Ethnic minorities
V3_Factory workers
V3_Frontline/essential workers (when subcategories not specified)
V3_Frontline retail workers
V3_Healthcare workers/carers (excluding care home staff)
V3_Military
V3_Other 'high contact' professions/groups (taxi drivers, security guards)
V3_People living with a vulnerable/shielding person or other priority group
V3_Police/ first responders
V3_Pregnant people
V3_Primary and secondary school students
V3_Religious/Spiritual Leaders
V3_Residents in an elderly care home
V3_Staff working in an elderly care home
V3_Tertiary education students
V3_Refugees/migrants
V3_Government Officials
Record how vaccines are funded for each category of people identified in V2 as currently receiving vaccines. Ordinal scale Blank - no data
1 - full cost borne by the individual (or through private health insurance) or no policy
2 - partially funded by government and individual pays nominal fee
3 - fully covered by government funding, FREE
V4 V4_Vaccine requirement/mandate

V4_0-4 yrs Infants
V4_5-15 yrs Young people
V4_General 16-19 yrs
VV4_General 20-24 yrs
V4_General 25-29 yrs
V4_General 30-34 yrs
V4_General 35-39 yrs
V4_General 40-44 yrs
V4_General 45-49 yrs
V4_General 50-54 yrs
V4_General 55-59 yrs
V4_General 60-64 yrs
V4_General 65-69 yrs
V4_General 70-74 yrs
V4_General 75-79 yrs
V4_General 80+ yrs
V4_At Risk 16-19 yrs
V4_At Risk 20-24 yrs
V4_At Risk 25-29 yrs
V4_At Risk 30-34 yrs
V4_At Risk 35-39 yrs
V4_At Risk 40-44 yrs
VV4_At Risk 45-49 yrs
V4_At Risk 50-54 yrs
V4_At Risk 55-59 yrs
V4_At Risk 60-64 yrs
V4_At Risk 65-69 yrs
V4_At Risk 70-74 yrs
V4_At Risk 75-79 yrs
V4_At Risk 80+ yrs
V4_Airport/Border/Airline Staff
V4_Clinically vulnerable/chronic illness/significant underlying health condition (excluding elderly and disabled)
V4_Crowded/communal living conditions (dormitories for migrant workers, temporary accommodations)
V4_Disabled People
V4_Educators
V4_Ethnic minorities
V4_Factory workers
V4_Frontline/essential workers (when subcategories not specified)
V4_Frontline retail workers
V4_Healthcare workers/carers (excluding care home staff)
V4_Military
V4_Other 'high contact' professions/groups (taxi drivers, security guards)
V4_People living with a vulnerable/shielding person or other priority group
V4_Police/ first responders
V4_Pregnant people
V4_Primary and secondary school students
V4_Religious/Spiritual Leaders
V4_Residents in an elderly care home
V4_Staff working in an elderly care home
V4_Tertiary education students
V4_Refugees/migrants
V4_Government Officials
Reports the existence of a requirement to be vaccinated Binary Blank - no data
0 - no requirement to be vaccinated
1 - requirement to be vaccinated

Additional summary indicators are automatically generated by our database, based on data entered for variables in the previous table:
ID Name Description Measurement Coding
V1 V1_Vaccine prioritisation (summary) Reports the existence of a prioritised plan for vaccine rollout Ordinal scale Blank – no data
0 - no plan
1 – a prioritised plan is in place
2 – universal/general eligibility; no prioritisation between groups
V2A V2_Vaccine eligibility/availability (summary) Reports whether any categories of people are receiving vaccines Ordinal scale Blank – no data
0 – no categories are receiving vaccines
1 – vaccines are available to some categories
2 – vaccines are available to anyone over the age of 16 yrs
3 – vaccines are available to anyone over the age of 16 yrs PLUS one or both of 5-15 yrs and 0-4 yrs
V2B V2B_Vaccine age eligibility/availability age floor(General population summary) Reports lowest age range of general population being vaccinated Numerical Blank – no data
0 – no categories are receiving vaccines
numerical range – Lowest age range for ‘General’ category
V2C V2C_Vaccine age eligibility/availability age floor(At-risk population summary) Reports lowest age range of at risk population being vaccinated Numerical Blank – no data
0 – no categories are receiving vaccines
numerical range – Lowest age range from either ‘General’ or ‘At-risk’ categories
V2D V2D_Medically/ clinically vulnerable (Non-elderly) Reports the number of categories selected from thematic group:
V2_At risk age ranges below 60 (one or more selected counts as 1 x category)
V2_Clinically vulnerable/chronic illness/significant underlying health condition (excluding elderly and disabled)
V2_Disabled people
V2_Pregnant people
V2_People living with a vulnerable/shielding person or other priority group
Ordinal Blank – no data
0 – no categories are receiving vaccines
1 – 1 or 2 categories in group selected
2 – 3 or more categories selected or all from V2_General 16-19 years up to V2_General 80+ yearspresent
V2E V2E_Education Reports the number of categories selected from thematic group:
V2_Educators
V2_Primary and secondary school students
V2_Tertiary education students
Ordinal Blank – no data
0 – no categories are receiving vaccines
1 – 1 category in group selected
2 - 2 or more categories selected or all from V2_General 16-19 years up to V2_General 80+ yearspresent
V2F V2F_Frontline workers (non healthcare) Reports the number of categories selected from thematic group: V2_Police/first responders
V2_Airport/Border/Airline staff
V2_Factory workers
V2_Frontline retail workers
V2_Military
V2_Other high contact professions/groups (taxi drivers, security guards)
V2_Frontline/essential workers (when subcategories not specified) (triggers an automatic 2)
Ordinal Blank – no data
0 – no categories are receiving vaccines
1 – 1 or 2 categories in group selected
2 - 3 or more categories selected or all from V2_General 16-19 years up to V2_General 80+ yearspresent
V2G V2F_Frontline workers (healthcare) Reports the number of categories selected from thematic group:
V2_Staff working in an elderly care home
V2_Healthcare workers/carers (excluding care home staff)
Ordinal Blank – no data
0 – no categories are receiving vaccines
1 – 1 category in group selected
2 - 2 categories selected or all from V2_General 16-19 years up to V2_General 80+ yearspresent
V3 V3_Vaccine financial support (summary) Reports the overall approach taken to vaccine funding – whether paid by the individual or the government Ordinal scale Blank - no data
0 – no availability
1 – full cost to the individual for all categories identified in V2
2 – full cost to the individual for some categories identified in V2, some subsidy for other categories
3- partial funding by the government for all of the categories identified in V2
4 – partial funding by the government for some categories identified in V2, full funding for other categories
5 – all categories fully funded by the government
V4 V4_Mandatory Vaccination (summary) Reports the existence of a requirement to be vaccinated Binary Blank - no data
0 – no requirement to be vaccinated
1 – requirement to be vaccinated is in place for one or more groups

Miscellaneous policies

ID Name Description Measurement Coding
M1 M1_Wildcard Record policy announcements that do not fit anywhere else Free text notes field Note unusual or interesting interventions that are worth flagging

Codebook changelog

  • 11 March 2022: v3.7 added V4- Mandatory Vaccination indicator, summary indicator, and new V1-4 categories Refugees/Migrants and Government Officials
  • 25 January 2022: v3.6 edited V2 summary indicators- V2D, V2E, V2F, V2G output maximum value if all General age categories selected from 'General 16-19 years' up to 'General 80+ years', and output minimum value of General or At-risk categories for V2C
  • 8 December 2021: v3.5 added V1-3 summary indicators
  • 27 September 2021: v3.4 note about removal of E3, E4 and H4
  • 28 June 2021: v3.3 presenting the imputed vaccine indicators (V2 summary and V3 summary) into a separate table
  • 21 June 2021: v3.02 edits to vaccine policy indicators table, fixing age ranges
  • 12 June 2021: v3.01 added section for vaccine policies
  • 5 May 2021: v2.10 added 'or all businesses open with alterations resulting in significant differences compared to non-Covid-19 operations' to C2 level 1
  • 18 March 2021: v2.9 added H8 'Protection of elderly people' indicator
  • 05 March 2021: v2.8 added 'non elderly' to definition of Clinically vulnerable groups' for H7
  • 14 January 2021: v2.7 changed 'country' to 'country/territory' and removed 'private' from C4 definition, replaced E1 flag 'formal sector workers only' to 'formal sector workers only or informal sector workers only', and 'informal workers too' to 'all workers'
  • 09 December 2020: v2.6 added H7 Vaccination policy indicator
  • 04 November 2020: v2.5 added C1 expanded definition of '1' and added targeted/general flag to H6 indicator
  • 22 October 2020: v2.4 added H6 Facial Coverings indicator
  • 05 July 2020: v2.3 add better explanation of targeted/general flags in intro
  • 22 May 2020: v2.2 changed description of E1=2 from "replacing more than 50% of lost salary" to "replacing 50% or more of lost salary"
  • 11 May 2020: moved v2 codebook to GitHub