Sunday , June 7 2020
Home / Dr. Eamonn Butler /Shutdowns must not mean everything shut down forever

Shutdowns must not mean everything shut down forever

Summary:
A protracted shutdown of so many businesses is seriously bad news—producing lasting disruption, bankruptcies and unemployment. So, when the time is right, how can we get Britain working again? The first thing is to set clear aims: a gradual return to normality, with widespread testing of the results, while continuing to safeguard older and vulnerable people.We can start by reopening businesses that are not classed as ‘essential’ but where social distancing can be managed—like plant nurseries. Maybe even restaurants if staff can be certified as immune and tables can be spaced out. People who prove immune can be invited to volunteer in high-risk situations like care homes, hospitals—and schools, which need to re-open quickly so that people in key jobs can get back to work. We need better

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A protracted shutdown of so many businesses is seriously bad news—producing lasting disruption, bankruptcies and unemployment. So, when the time is right, how can we get Britain working again?

 The first thing is to set clear aims: a gradual return to normality, with widespread testing of the results, while continuing to safeguard older and vulnerable people.

We can start by reopening businesses that are not classed as ‘essential’ but where social distancing can be managed—like plant nurseries. Maybe even restaurants if staff can be certified as immune and tables can be spaced out. 

People who prove immune can be invited to volunteer in high-risk situations like care homes, hospitals—and schools, which need to re-open quickly so that people in key jobs can get back to work.

 We need better hygiene and deep cleaning in all those places. And in public transport to, while maintaining teleworking where possible.

We should try different re-opening strategies in different areas, letting local officials and businesses decide what is right for them.

We can repair some of the damage done to businesses by axing the regulations that have hampered their response to the crisis. And reducing their taxes. That means government cutting unnecessary projects and bureaucracies. And mothballing the big vanity projects that now simply aren’t an affordable priority.

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Dr. Eamonn Butler
Eamonn Butler is Director of the Adam Smith Institute, rated one of the world’s leading policy think-tanks. He has degrees in economics, philosophy and psychology, gaining a PhD from the University of St Andrews in 1978.

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