Regular UK lockdowns could help control Covid, says Sage expert

Regular UK lockdowns could help control Covid, says Sage expert

  • Strategy of repeated ‘circuit breakers’ would reduce total number of cases, according to leading scientific adviser

One of the government’s scientific advisers has said repeated “mini lockdowns” could be effective as a tool to bring Covid-19 cases under control.

The suggestion from Professor John Edmunds, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), comes amid growing evidence the virus’s prevalence is growing among older, more vulnerable people.

A quarter of the country is now living under tighter Covid-19 restrictions, including bans on household mixing, with London on the brink of further measures. Scotland has already introduced tougher rules.

The government has so far decided against a so-called “circuit breaker” – effectively a two-week mini national lockdown – that had been advocated by some scientists.

However, with warnings that a rise in daily deaths is on the way as the virus grows, Edmunds, dean of the faculty of epidemiology and population health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said deploying more than one circuit breaker could be effective.