Exercise Alice

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Event.png Exercise Alice(Pandemic/Preparation,  Civil unrest/Preparation,  mid-level deep event,  planning exercise) Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
DateFebruary 2016
ParticipantsSally Davies
DescriptionSecret 2016 UK pandemic exercise modelling the impact of a coronavirus outbreak

Exercise Alice was a secret UK government pandemic exercise modelling the impact of a coronavirus outbreak, four years before Covid-19.[1][2]

The exercise took place in 2016 involving officials from Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and envisioned an outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers), which is caused by a coronavirus.

Who else participated and influenced the parameters and desired response, is unknown.

There is a passing reference[3] to the exercise in a 2018 NHS document which explains that it modelled a similar scenario to the outbreak in South Korea in 2015, when 35% of people who caught it required critical care and 38 people died.


Moosa Qureshi obtained the information in May 2021.[1]


"PHE had previously declined to reveal details of the exercises, citing the need to safeguard national security."[1] A summary document uploaded by The Guardian is heavily redacted, with Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies being the only visible name.[4]

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