Blanket lockdown extension “a missed opportunity”, says IEA expert


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Responding to the government’s announcement of the 3-week extension to the coronavirus lockdown Professor Philip Booth, Senior Academic Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“A blanket extension to the lockdown is a missed opportunity.

“Of course, emergency measures in a free society are justified in a crisis such as the current one. However, there are trade-offs – not least between deaths from other causes related to spells of unemployment. Also, there is a dearth of data which allows us to assess whether policies really make a difference.

“Today could have been a chance to allow some relaxation, differing by region, depending on the capacity of the NHS. For example, garden centres could have been allowed to open in some regions, some children allowed back to school in others and services that don’t require personal contact could have been allowed to re-open elsewhere. We could then assess the impact of these policies and made better decisions in the future.”

 

 

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