Prof. Sridhar, Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, was among a panel of international academic who briefed the committee this morning.
"The people who are most anti-lockdown have been frustrating to listen to because those are the people pushing us into lockdown because the anti-lockdowners are reducing compliance and when compliance goes and your numbers go up you are forced into a lockdown because we need those harsher restrictions because our test and trace can't cope.
"So the irony is the people who are most against restrictions are causing us to go into these restriction cycles and those of us who are articulating public health principles, good compliance, voluntary behavioural change, trying to keep numbers low, are actually trying to avoid lockdowns at this point," she argued.
The public health expert said debate had become 'unnecessarily polarised between pro and anti-lockdown' and she suggested Dublin and Belfast should be working with London and the devolved administrations in Cardiff and Edinburgh on an islands-wide COVID-19 elimination strategy.
"We all want to avoid lockdowns but what do we need to do together to get there and a zero COVID strategy is the best way to get there in my view having looked at this for ten months," she said.