Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has spoken to the nation confirming that there will be no major changes to the lockdown rules, although unlimited exercise in England will now be allowed with members of the same household. The advice will differ from that in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with further guidance expected over coming days.
“To chart our progress and to avoid going back to square one, we are establishing a new Covid Alert System run by a new Joint Biosecurity Centre. And that Covid Alert Level will be determined primarily by R and the number of coronavirus cases. And in turn that Covid Alert Level will tell us how tough we have to be in our social distancing measures – the lower the level the fewer the measures. The higher the level, the tougher and stricter we will have to be.
There will be five alert levels.
Level One means the disease is no longer present in the UK and Level Five is the most critical – the kind of situation we could have had if the NHS had been overwhelmed. Over the period of the lockdown we have been in Level Four, and it is thanks to your sacrifice we are now in a position to begin to move in steps to Level Three.
And as we go everyone will have a role to play in keeping the R down. By staying alert and following the rules. And to keep pushing the number of infections down there are two more things we must do. We must reverse rapidly the awful epidemics in care homes and in the NHS, and though the numbers are coming down sharply now, there is plainly much more to be done.”