Sir Richard Branson slams Dan Andrews' lockdown legacy during visit to Melbourne

Billionaire suggests COVID-19 lockdowns did more harm than good as he raises mental health concerns and points to Sweden's successful approach.

Sir Richard Branson slams Dan Andrews' lockdown legacy during visit to Melbourne
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Sir Richard Branson expressed concern about the mental health impact of Victoria's extended lockdowns during a Melbourne event.

The billionaire suggested that the negative effects of lockdowns on mental well-being outweighed the benefits of Covid lockdowns, with Melbourne's notably harsh pandemic rule under the reign of former Premier Dan Andrews drawing criticism from around the world. 

Branson, speaking at a businesswomen's gathering, remarked:

"It (mental health) certainly has been a problem, and the effect of locking people up during Covid, arguably outweighs the amount of people who ended up dying from Covid."

Reflecting on the global pandemic response, he noted Sweden's approach, emphasising that the nation avoided complete lockdowns.

According to Branson, Sweden's strategy, warning older individuals while allowing younger people more freedom, resulted in a comparatively lower death rate and minimized the impact on mental health.

The business mogul suggested that such lessons could be valuable in future pandemic scenarios.

Branson made these comments during his visit to Melbourne to launch a cruise ship.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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