UK coronavirus alert downgraded from Level 4 to 3

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Updated: Jun 19, 2020 6:16 PM

The UK is currently at step two of a three-step lockdown easing plan, with non-essential retail stores allowed to open up within COVID-secure settings from this week.

The government's plan is working. Infection rates are rapidly falling, we have protected the NHS and, thanks to the hard work of millions in our health and social care services, we are getting the country back on her feet, he said.The number of people infected with coronavirus in the UK crossed the 300,000 mark this week but the daily spike in that figure has been on a downward trajectory.

The UK’s coronavirus alert level has been downgraded from four to three on Friday, a move hailed by the government as a big moment in its pandemic fight.

Under level three of a five-level alert system, the virus is now considered to be “in general circulation” and therefore allow for a “gradual relaxation of restrictions” to ease the lockdown further. Previously, at level four, transmission of the deadly virus was considered “high or rising exponentially”.

The UK moving to a lower alert level is a big moment for the country, and a real testament to the British people’s determination to beat this virus,? said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

The government’s plan is working. Infection rates are rapidly falling, we have protected the NHS and, thanks to the hard work of millions in our health and social care services, we are getting the country back on her feet, he said.

The go-ahead for the downgrade came from the expert Joint Biosecurity Centre, which recommended a reduction that was then jointly approved by the chief medical officers (CMOs) of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There has been a steady decrease in cases we have seen in all four nations, and this continues. It does not mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur,? the CMOs said in a joint statement.

We have made progress against the virus thanks to the efforts of the public and we need the public to continue to follow the guidelines carefully to ensure this progress continues, they said.

The UK’s death toll from the virus crossed 42,000 this week but experts have been highlighting the falling daily rate of deaths as well as a decline in the rate of infections for a few days.

The number of people infected with coronavirus in the UK crossed the 300,000 mark this week but the daily spike in that figure has been on a downward trajectory.

The alert level system, tabled in Parliament by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month, involves a scale of one to five, which he said would reflect the degree of threat to the country from coronavirus the higher the level, the greater the risk.

At the time, Johnson said the level would be determined by the R or reproduction rate of COVID-19 (R) which is the average number of people each infected person transmits the virus to and the number of cases and that all lockdown easing measures will be taken based on the alert level.

At level five, transmission is high or rising and there is a risk that the country’s healthcare services will be overwhelmed. Level one means coronavirus is no longer known to be in the UK.

Level three, which is where the UK has moved to now, is when the epidemic is in general circulation and gradual easing of restrictions can take place, while level two is when the number of cases and transmission is low and “no or minimal” restrictions are required.

The UK is currently at step two of a three-step lockdown easing plan, with non-essential retail stores allowed to open up within COVID-secure settings from this week.

The third step in the government’s published plan, which Johnson said was to take place by July 4, includes opening further non-essential services such as hairdressers and beauty salons, restaurants, pubs and leisure facilities.

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