New Times,
New Thinking.

You cannot repair the economic damage of coronavirus simply by unlocking

The government have announced that groups will be able to meet outside, but is this too soon and will it really help the economy? 

By Stephen Bush

Groups of six will be able to meet outside from Monday, provided they observe social distancing, as the government begins a series of measures to gradually ease the lockdown, including in front and back gardens.

But are we easing too soon? While — the rate of transmission — is below one, it may not be that far below it. It’s not clear that the five tests for ending the lockdown have truly been met, or that they can be reliably maintained. 

The latest tests for how many people have actually had coronavirus indicates a death rate of around 1 per cent: more than a quarter of a million people if the disease spread through the population unchecked. 

But for the moment, the cabinet’s lockdown doves, who are concerned about the economic impact of the lockdown, are in the ascendancy. 

The problem is, it’s far from clear whether you can simply repair the economic damage of the coronavirus recession by formally unlocking. Don’t forget that in the UK, as with most other countries in Europe, citizens started voluntarily reducing their social contacts long before they were legally mandated to do so.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

The shock to demand, and the consequences for our economy, may linger for a long time — even if the lockdown’s easing doesn’t cause a second peak in cases.

Content from our partners
ADHD in the criminal justice system: a case for change – with Takeda
The power of place in tackling climate change
Tackling the UK's biggest health challenges