Dominic Cummings told the inquiry that closing the UK’s borders at the start of the pandemic was not considered “relevant”.
Asked about the possibility of trying to keep Covid-19 outside the UK’s borders and Sage’s advice on whether it would be effective or not, Cummings replied: “It was three-fold. First of all, we didn’t really have the capacity to do it, because obviously Britain hasn’t been able to control its borders for many, many years. You don’t have the data to do it, you don’t have the infrastructure to do it in general, much less in the case of a pandemic.
“Secondly, we were told that even if we had the capacity, it would only delay things by a relatively trivial amount.
“And third… at the time the reaction of many people was that closing the borders is racist. Remember when supermodel Caprice said on TV ‘why don’t we close the borders?’ Many public health experts mocked her as if she were an idiot.
“That was the prevailing conventional wisdom in the public health system and Caprice’s dismissal was reflected in the number 10 of the public health system.
“Of course, if you’re looking for a single wave of herd immunity by September… then wasting time on the borders was not considered relevant or consistent with that strategy.”