Informing management of lockdowns and a phased return to normality: a Solution Scan of non-pharmaceutical options to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission

Report by William Sutherland, David C. Aldridge, Philip Martin, Catherine Rhodes, Gorm Shackelford, SJ Beard, Andrew J. Bladon, Cameron Brick, Mark Burgman, Alec P. Christie, Lynn V. Dicks, Andrew P. Dobson, Harriet Downey, Fangyuan Hua, Amelia S.C. Hood, Alice C. Hughes, Rebecca M. Jarvis, Douglas MacFarlane, Anne-Christine Mupepele, William H. Morgan, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, Stefan J. Marciniak, Cassidy Nelson, Clarissa Rios Rojas, Katherine A. Sainsbury, Rebecca K. Smith, Lalitha Sundaram, Hannah Tankard, Nigel G. Taylor, Ann Thornton, John Watkins, Thomas B. White, Kate Willott, Silviu O. Petrovan, Haydn Belfield
Published on 15 April 2020

This work is a collaboration between BioRISC (the Biosecurity Research Initiative at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge), Conservation Evidence based in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk. It was created by documenting our experience of options, consulting guidance, contacting people working in different countries to explore the range of options and crowd-sourcing ideas through social media. We welcome suggestions for options missed (especially those implemented outside of the UK), innovations for novel options or means of improving existing options. Please contact


We have identified 275 options to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission in five key areas: (1) physical isolation, (2) reducing transmission through contaminated items, (3) enhancing cleaning and hygiene, (4) reducing spread through pets, and (5) restricting disease spread between areas. For any particular problem this long list will quickly be winnowed down to a much shorter list of potential options based on relevance and practicality; this bespoke shortlist will be the subject of more detailed consideration.

We stress that the listing of an option should not be seen as a recommendation or a suggestion that it is beneficial. Deciding whether to adopt any of these actions involves policy makers and practitioners considering the evidence for the importance of the transmission risk and likely effectiveness, as well as its cost, practicality and fairness. As our starting point we take the guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC;

Read full paper

Subscribe to our mailing list to get our latest updates