The fringe view that we should avoid coronavirus restrictions was presented to the PM as he weighed a crucial decision
On 17 September the government’s scientific advisory group, Sage, met. Its minutes note that a national “circuit breaker” lockdown for England “could have a significant impact on transmission”, stating that the “approach has greater impact when the epidemic is growing faster”. A second wave had been all but inevitable after the lifting of national restrictions on 4 July, the introduction of the “eat out to help out” scheme, and the easing of travel restrictions and quarantining, which allowed people to take holidays to Covid-transmission hotspots such as Spain.
On 21 September, Prof Chris Whitty and Prof Sir Patrick Vallance held a public briefing where they presented worst-case scenario figures for Covid cases and deaths into autumn and winter if no action was taken. The briefing was widely criticised as scaremongering, but the projected figures of 50,000 cases and 200 deaths per day has proved to be largely correct, with 45,000 cases and 450 deaths per day in October-November. The same day, Sage set out in an official document that a circuit breaker “should be considered for immediate introduction”.
Read the original article at The Guardian