A new report compares the advice from SAGE and Independent SAGE with government advice on key behavioural mitigations.

The ‘Following the Science’ (FTS) Timeline charts the main behavioural recommendations from SAGE1 and Independent SAGE scientists about measures needed to minimise the spread of COVID-19. The recommendations are presented alongside what the Westminster Government2 implemented and when.

The FTS Timeline is organized with SAGE and Independent SAGE advice above the date line and what the UK Government did below. Selected news and other events, recommendations and decisions appear in blue.

The FTS Timeline focuses on four main areas – hand and respiratory hygiene, face coverings, physical distancing, and self-isolation. In addition, it includes selected events (e.g., lockdown timings) as an aide memoire to the overall trajectory of the pandemic. Some dates about the airborne nature of Covid are included since they have implications for behaviours like wearing face coverings or opening windows. The timeline does not systematically include travel regulations or the testing and vaccination programmes.

The information underpinning the FTS Timeline draws on SAGE papers and minutes; Independent SAGE reports, statements, and media; media reports of SAGE papers; media articles including trailed and leaked information about upcoming changes to guidance and regulation, and the Institute for Government’s ‘Timeline of UK coronavirus lockdowns, March 2020 to March 2021.’ The timeline builds on and extends Independent SAGE’s November 2020 paper on UK government messaging and communication and Independent SAGE’s February 2021 ‘Timeline of Reports.’

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