Covid-19 big moment: After dwindling cases, UK lowers alert level to 3
After days of dwindling number of cases and deaths, experts advising the UK government recommended on Friday that the Covid-19 alert level be reduced from 4 to 3, a development described by health secretary Matt Hancock as a ‘big moment’.
The chief medical officers of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the deputy chief medical officer of Wales said the Joint Biosecurity Centre has made the recommendation after reviewing the evidence and data.
Hancock said: “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. 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.”
The update says: “The Joint Biosecurity Centre has recommended that the Covid-19 alert level should move from Level 4 (A Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to Level 3 (A Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation)”.
“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”.
“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”, the update adds.
As of June 18, the cumulative figure for deaths in the UK was 42,288 and 300,469 cases.
The UK’s five Covid-19 alert levels are:
Level 1 Covid-19 is not known to be present in the UK.
Level 2 Covid-19 is present in the UK, but the number of cases and transmission is low.
Level 3 A Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation.
Level 4 A Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially.
Level 5 As level 4 and there is a material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed.