Effective Restrictions Against Covid Could Pay For Themselves

30 September, 2020

The Czech government has announced new restrictive measures to stop the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the country. Not surprisingly, we are witnessing a heated debate on this issue. A study on restriction costs by CERGE-EI is showing that effective temporary restrictions are the best way to protect public health and the economy.

"All restrictions have economic costs since citizens are temporarily constrained in their choices to work, consume, or socialize. Their main benefit lies in suppressing infection numbers in a more coordinated and effective way than if citizens are left to take their own decisions," said Ole Jann, one of the authors of the brief study.

By listing a few examples from the United States, South Korea, and Sweden, the study shows that the economic and social impacts associated with the uncertainty posed to humans by growing numbers of people infected and deaths outweigh the costs of short-term restrictions.

Foreign experience has also shown that slowing the flow of infection with temporary restrictions allows for a higher level of economic activity once measures have been effective and can gradually be lifted.

"Experiences around the world suggest that effective measures are the best way to protect public health in a rapidly evolving epidemic; research shows they are also a wise economic choice," Ole concluded.