UK coronavirus live: government publishes new batch of coronavirus papers from Sage

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Trial begins for new contact-tracing app while government’s top scientists are questioned by MPs

Here is an extract from the Sage paper (pdf) prepared for a meeting on 2 April. The note is dated 1 April.

The paper advises that the lockdown restrictions should be lifted “very gradually”. It says:

To avoid these problems we would advocate trialling easing restrictions very gradually when epidemiologically indicated while clearly explaining why these particular activities are being resumed and how risks must be controlled if these activities are to be maintained. This will also allow an opportunity to gather epidemiological evidence about the impact of easing the restriction and be used to provide evidence to the public about the impact of that restriction. To maintain public trust and support it will be important to have acceptable and equitable criteria for selecting which activities can be resumed. For example, it may be difficult to justify easing restrictions solely for economic activities without any easing of restrictions for low risk activities with significant social and psychological benefit.

Back in the health committee Vallance is now talking about masks.

He says the evidence suggests that, in terms of preventing wearers from spreading coronavirus to others, the evidence in favour of masks or face coverings is “marginal but positive”.

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