On the 12th of July, Boris Johnson announced that England would be moving to step 4 of the roadmap on 19th July, essentially removing almost all public health measures.

Independent SAGE considers such a policy reckless and mistaken.

As a group, we fully support:

1) This Letter to the Lancet setting out the dangers of a policy that allows for continued high numbers of new infections

2) An emergency response to the government’s plans announced on 12th July prepared by the same group of scientists who led the Letter to the Lancet. The press conference organised by The Citizens where scientists discussed the statement and take questions from the public can be watched here.

As part of that response, we support the following actions where were advocated:

  1. INFORM:
    • The government must articulate a long-term strategy for pandemic control
    • We need clear evidence-based information on how to protect ourselves and others
    • Keep basic preventive measures such as masks, physical distancing, and outdoor
      hospitality until cases return to the levels seen in May. These measures are minor
      disruptions that increase our freedoms rather than restrict them.
    • Data not dates: We fully agree with the government’s own slogan here, and they need to
      hold to what they promised, not set arbitrary dates tied to public expectations or political
      lobbying. We must wait until cases are low, school and workplace mitigations are in place
      and most people aged 12 and above are vaccinated before opening up further.
    • Make workplaces, schools and public transport safer: Support resourcing of ventilation
      or air filtration; allow employees to work from home whenever possible. Re-introduce
      masking in secondary schools, and move learning outdoors as much as possible. Ensure
      that workers can travel to work without being placed at risk.
    • Test, trace and isolate. Provide local authorities with the means for extensive testing and
      support people to isolate if potentially contagious.
    • Prepare for school re-opening: Invest in making schools safer ahead of autumn.

We also note that several members of Independent SAGE were involved in both the letter and the statement as individuals.