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Covid-19: Leading doctors argue against local lockdowns

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3959 (Published 13 October 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m3959

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  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

The UK government’s own scientific advisers and other leading experts argued against a policy of increased restrictions in local areas to control the covid-19 pandemic, instead calling for a national short period of lockdown or “circuit breaker,” documents show.

The newly released documents reveal that the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies recommended on 21 September that such an immediate circuit breaker was the best way to control cases.1

Rumours about SAGE’s advice had been circulating for some weeks,2 but the minutes were officially released only after the prime minister announced a new three tier system for England, with Liverpool facing the most stringent restrictions.3

The SAGE documents also suggested:

  • Advising people to work from home if they can

  • Banning all contact within the home with members of other households

  • Closure of all bars, restaurants, cafes, …

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