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Ministers told weeks ago to impose short lockdown or face ‘large epidemic’

Most Sage proposals not acted upon by government despite strong warnings over second wave

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Ministers were warned three weeks ago that the country faced a “very large epidemic with catastrophic consequences” unless they took immediate action by imposing a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The government’s Sage committee of experts urged ministers to move urgently as new infections rose in all age groups across the country, even as the full impact of opening schools and universities had yet to be felt.

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