UK downgrades Covid-19 alert threat level | Coronavirus

UK downgrades Covid-19 alert threat level | Coronavirus

The UK’s four chief medical officers have agreed the Covid-19 alert level should move from level 4 to level 3, thanks to the success of the vaccination programme and social distancing restrictions.

This means the epidemic is in general circulation but transmission of the virus is no longer deemed to be high or rising exponentially.

Boris Johnson will hold a press conference in Downing Street later on Monday to announce the next steps in England’s roadmap out of lockdown.

A statement from the chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, as well as the NHS England national medical director, Prof Stephen Powis, said: “Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the UK chief medical officers and NHS England national medical director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 4 to level 3.

“Thanks to the efforts of the UK public in social distancing and the impact we are starting to see from the vaccination programme, case numbers, deaths and Covid hospital pressures have fallen consistently.

“However Covid is still circulating with people catching and spreading the virus every day so we all need to continue to be vigilant. This remains a major pandemic globally.

“It is very important that we all continue to follow the guidance closely and everyone gets both doses of the vaccine when they are offered it.”

Johnson is expected to confirm that England can press ahead with the next phase out of lockdown from 17 May, which allows more freedoms in and outdoors.

Prof Sir John Bell, an immunologist at Oxford University, said on Monday the country was in a “very strong position” to move forward with the easing of restrictions, enabling people to “try to get back to normal”.

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