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What is a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown, and how could it help curb rising Covid-19 cases?



Has it worked anywhere else?

The term ‘circuit breaker’ came to prominence in April to describe the steps taken by the Singaporean Government.

While the virus had been detected in the country in January, it took until spring for the state to implement a widespread lockdown measure, including restrictions on movement and gatherings, as well as the closure of schools and non-essential businesses.

The so-called circuit breaker was only supposed to last for roughly a month, but ultimately it lasted for almost three.

Although the measures were in place for longer than anticipated, Singapore’s response is hailed worldwide as a successful model.

On Wednesday, the country registered four new cases, all of which were imported. The term circuit breaker has come to mean different things in different countries.

As with Singapore, many countries have introduced what was intended to be a short, sharp lockdown only to extend it.

Not all circuit breakers involve widespread lockdowns.

Who has gone for the circuit-break option in the UK?

Last Wednesday, pubs in central Scotland were ordered to close across several districts for 16 days.

In Northern Ireland, a four-week circuit breaker is in place in an attempt to stall the rise in coronavirus infections.

Pubs and restaurants will have to shut unless they offer a takeaway service, but places of worship, shops and gyms can stay open.



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