SAGE member: 'In Boris' shoes I would do a circuit breaker right now'

23 September 2020, 17:31 | Updated: 23 September 2020, 18:34

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A SAGE member has told LBC if he was in the Prime Minister's shoes he would impose a two-week lockdown "right now."

When asked if the new coronavirus restrictions brought in this week were sufficient Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said: "They're not quite enough."

The expert added that while he understood "all of these measures are dreadful, nobody wants them," but "the alternative is even more dreadful."

He told LBC's Eddie Mair that swiftly enacting the new rules would help to slow the number of coronavirus cases.

However, his stark warning was that he doesn't think the measures announced in England "will be sufficient to stop the cases from increasing in the next few weeks."

He added he even felt the more stringent measures in Scotland might not be enough to halt the spread.

The new strategy for England - announced six months after the lockdown was introduced in March - will see office staff once again working from home, the wider use of face masks and a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.

Businesses will face £10,000 fines or closure for failing to comply with regulations, and people risk £200 penalties is they do not wear masks or breach the "rule of six".

The military could be used to free up police officers to tackle coronavirus rule-breakers, and Mr Johnson said the measures may need to be in place for a further six months.

When Eddie asked the professor what he would do the answer was simple, he said he would impose the "circuit breaker" lockdown.

"My idea if I was in Boris Johnson's shoes I would do a circuit-breaker right now, which is a two-week mini-lockdown."

But, the professor said he would not shut down schools if "we can keep them open."

He said that once this was over he would impose the new measures, including the work from home rules.

Adding he would stop "people contacting others in their homes."

He said this would be the "minimum" he would do "with the knowledge that's going to be in place for a long time."

The expert said he might even consider a further two-week circuit breaker lockdown in order to help slow the spread of the virus.