Nearly a month ago, I called for an urgent 24-day full national lockdown, arguing that the restrictions were unlikely to make a significant difference in reducing transmission. If we had acted strongly and decisively then, and implemented a circuit-breaker lockdown — as we now know that the government’s scientific advisory group Sage also wanted — we would be in a much stronger position today. Many readers considered it a controversial and unwise strategy. The government agreed, declining Sage’s advice and instead announcing the eventual rollout of a three-tier system covering areas of ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’ risk, each with their own restrictions. Yet case rates, hospitalisations and deaths continue to increase across the country.