Green Zones

This is an idea I came across during my reading on the subject. It comes from some mathematical modelers at the Université Paris Dauphine and the University of Oxford. Their paper is here:
A laypersons' summary is here:

These authors discuss a means of exiting the lockdown safely while returning to some semblance of normality. They propose dividing the entire world into zones of varying current exposure to the virus (our part of this would involve only Scotland, and I see no obvious reason we shouldn't use this here even if our neighbours do not fully engage with the process).

In the initial stage we would ramp up our test-trace-isolate strategy, which I think is a good one, while driving the R0 as low as possible as we are doing. It will take time to plan and implement a Green Zone strategy in any case. Then we divide Scotland into its natural communities, of a few thousand people. Only essential workers, regularly tested (if a fast test can be developed they could be tested at the border of each community), would be allowed in or out. Once it's clear that a zone is free of virus it can then be joined to contiguous ones in order to create larger regional Green Zones until the whole of Scotland is free of the virus.

If there is another local outbreak that locality can then be temporarily isolated, probably with stricter lockdown measures, until the virus is again extirpated. Our public health system will then be fighting isolated brushfires, not a widespread conflagration.

Obviously Westminster will never allow us to close the border. We could presumably close off the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway to anyone not demonstrably from a Green Zone south of the Border.

While I think there are issues with mathematical modeling the authors of this paper suggest that the world could be free of virus in two to four months. I suspect this is impractical at a global level, but it doesn't seem unreasonable that we could extirpate the virus in Scotland in that time frame.

Why the contribution is important

This would enable Scotland to exit lockdown, and probably extirpate the virus from Scotland, by the autumn while minimsing transmission in the process. If implemented properly it should minimise the number of Scots who are ever infected with the virus and save lives.

by Niall on May 06, 2020 at 09:34AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 3.6
Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by TonyFinn May 06, 2020 at 10:03

    Seriously! disagree with this on the grounds of freedom of movement
  • Posted by Niall May 06, 2020 at 10:29

    @TonyFinn. This is means of reinsituting freedom of movement . We can't have full freedom of movment until we extirpate the virus. This strategy would extirpate the virus and completely open up Scotland within months rather than needing to wait indefinitely for a vaccine. If neighbouring countries want to institute the same system, thus allowing movement between them, so much the better. Freedom of movement before we extirpate the virus is also freedom of movement for a virus that has killed tens of thousands of people.
  • Posted by Jane May 06, 2020 at 10:49

    Haven’t yet read the paper referenced but if this model could be applied rigorously the benefits in relatively short timescale would be worth the effort.
    It is clear from other countries that managing the borders is a critical success factor.
  • Posted by lcraik May 06, 2020 at 10:50

    Commerce has to return asap
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