Boris Johnson has announced a new five-tier system for how the UK will move through the rest of the coronavirus pandemic. The current threat level of the pandemic will be categorised on a scale of one to five in different parts of the country. The system is designed to mirror the independent terror alert system, which ranks the threat to the public from “low” to “critical” and helps decide what protective measures are required at the time.
The system will be used to assess the threat level of the virus and as and when lockdown measures can be slowly lifted.
In his address, Mr Johnson said England is currently at stage four but moving towards stage three.
The alert tool – to be administered by a new “joint biosecurity centre” – will reflect the virus threat in different parts of the country, meaning the threat level in one city could differ quite widely from another.
This could inform the local alteration of restrictions in England.
What are the levels?
Level one – Safe. No coronavirus detected in the UK. No restrictions necessary.
Level two – Moderate. This means there is a low level of virus transmission and the NHS is operating normally. Some precautionary measures will be taken to stop further spread.
Level three – Substantial. This means the virus is in general circulation and the NHS is operating at extra capacity. Partial lockdown in place.
Level four – Severe. This is the level the UK is currently at and means the NHS is stretched but is coping. Nationwide lockdown imposed by law.
Level five – Critical. This level would require a strict lockdown and means the virus is spreading fast and has overwhelmed the NHS. Nightingale hospitals in operation. Full severe lockdown in action imposed by law.
In response, Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer addressed the nation and called on the Government to clarify its position, saying the UK could not simply go back to normal once this is over.
He spoke of action needed where care workers were paid less than the real living wage, care homes were an “afterthought” and a lack of public services investment, but expecting frontline workers to “protect us”.
In his recorded statement for radio and TV audiences, he said of key workers: “In their courage and their sacrifice and their bravery, we can see a better future.”
In tonight’s press briefing, members of the public were given right of way before journalists to put questions to the Prime Minister, with many expressing their concern over the lack of clarity from Mr Johnson.
New rules stipulate you can leave your household to meet with a friend or family member in a park, so long as you stay two metres away from eachother.
Those who have been unable to work from home should now go back to work, and those who can work from home easily should stay that way.
Schools are aiming for a June 1 reopening date, with selected primary age children able to go back first.
You are also permitted to travel for exercise, so long as you observe social distancing guidelines when you get there.
New rules will come into effect on Wednesday May 13.
Published at Mon, 11 May 2020 19:33:00 +0000