All levels of government are authorized to apply COVID-19 protection measures, however, they must consider how and when to ease lockdown restrictions to limit long-term societal harm and societal instability. Leaders that employ a well-considered framework with an incremental approach will be able to gradually restart society while simultaneously maintaining public health benefits achieved through lockdown measures. This paper proposes a framework for identifying a path forward and reflects on baseline requirements, regulations and recommendations, triggers, and implementation.
The authors further suggest that a key step for considering the social and economic dimensions of this crisis is focusing on the most vulnerable. This can only be achieved by designing policies that support the provision of health, unemployment insurance and social protection while bolstering business to prevent bankruptcy and job loss. This could be guided by developing a COVID-19 colour-coded risk management framework informed by the public health system resilience scorecard, Maslow hierarchy of needs and the social determinants of health.