Contrary to what the media say happened, the government wasn't 'told' to do anything specific by Sage, and it didn't 'ignore' them either.

Sage presented a range of options, with the pros and cons, for the government to consider.

Let's look at what they said about each measure
First option was a stay-at-home lockdown like the one we had earlier in the year. Very high impact on covid, but a large impact on non-covid health and wellbeing. With a warning that people probably won't comply as well as they did the first time around
Next one was the 'circuit breaker' lockdown (which let's face it, is basically the same as the first lockdown but marketed differently)

Moderate impact on covid deaths, moderate negative non-covid impact
Next was reducing contacts between members of different households within the home

Looks like what the government put into their Tier system
Then we have restrictions on outdoor gatherings, including prohibiting large events

Can't help but notice all of this advice points out an awful lot of problems with each measure without very many solutions...
Measures related to business settings i.e. Working from home

Looks like government adopted this one right off the bat
"Alternating week in - week off, return to work"

Hadn't even heard this one mentioned. Low to moderate impact on covid (low confidence). Probably why that one didn't go any further
Closing bars/pubs/cafes/restaurants, and gyms/leisure centres etc

You can see why they've implemented this in Tier 3 areas
Closing places of worship

There's something about this in Teir 3 I think but I haven't actually read it. Can't remember the media reporting much about it
Closure of non-essential retail, personal services etc

Low impact on covid, high non-covid impact

*scrunches up and throws in bin*
Education. This is a big one.

Mass school closure would have a moderate impact on covid, and a high non-covid impact.

Rightly rejected outright in my view.

Whereas closing schools/classes/year groups present a much better balance
Closure of further and higher education, and quarantining of new students at HE to prevent 'seeding'

They seem to gloss over the non-covid impact of closing universities. Not sure why.
Closure of childcare

Low to moderate impact on covid, high impact on non-covid

Visitors to care homes, and shielding of high-risk individuals

Interesting that they say preventing visitors in care homes has a low impact as most infection comes from staff, but then says essentially 'but if they do bring the infection in the impact can be devastating' 😬
This is an important one - Increasing of "covid security" in workplaces and other settings

They basically say it's pointless because we're doing basically everything we can do in these areas anyway and increasing measures will just make everyone angry
Oooh, face coverings. This'll be good.

Using them outdoors - pointless and would piss everyone off

Using them in more places indoors - low to moderate impact but may be beneficial where distancing is harder

No surprises there
And last but not least - travel within the UK

I think the last implementation issue is the biggest

"Exemptions and enforcement likely to be very complicated"

Yeah, thanks for that Sage. Thanks for that.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of The Media Are Trash And Basically Tell Us Nothing. I have a zoom call now. Adios!
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