How close is the UK to passing the five tests needed for the foreclosure to be lifted by the government


Britain has yet to meet the government’s five criteria which it believes must be met before the foreclosure measures can be adjusted, said Downing Street.

But what progress has been made? And how far is Britain from the targets?

Test 1. The NHS has the capacity to provide intensive care across the UK

The first test is whether Britain has the capacity to care for the seriously ill with coronavirus – which can be measured by spare beds in intensive care.

Hospitals have not been overwhelmed by patients so far in the pandemic, and in some places have been helped by the opening of the new NHS Nightingales.

Matt Hancock Secretary of Health

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Monday that there are 3,190 alternative intensive care beds in health services and that in most parts of the country, the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus is starting to decrease.

This criterion therefore seems to have been met.

Test 2. A sustained and steady decline in daily deaths from coronavirus

Scientists estimate that the daily number of deaths in hospitals in England peaked around April 8, and has dropped steadily since.

However, the picture is less clear when deaths in the community are included, with some suggestions that deaths in nursing homes may further increase.

More data is needed to know clearly if this test has been passed.

Test 3. The infection rate has decreased to manageable levels in all areas

It is now believed that the “R” – or infection rate is between 0.5 and 1, which means that each person infected with the virus passes it on to less than another person.

This in turn means that the total number of cases is decreasing. But, if R exceeds 1, there could be a further exponential increase in infections.

It is likely that this criterion has been met in all areas, but the government will be extremely careful to ensure that the infection rate does not go up.

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Test 4. Operational challenges, including tests and PPE, are underway with an offer capable of meeting future demand

The government remains far from its goal of testing 100,000 people a day by the end of the month, with only 37,024 tests done on Sunday – although that number is increasing daily.

And even though more than a billion items of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been distributed, concerns about the shortages persist – particularly among nursing home staff.

Given the global spread of the disease, the operational challenges related to the supply of PPE may continue for some time. So far, this test does not appear to have been passed.

Test 5. Confident that any adjustment of the current measures does not risk a second peak of infections

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that he would not risk a second peak of the disease by relaxing the restrictions too quickly.

Government science advisors are presenting ministers with a series of options for easing the lockdown, a combination of which would keep the R value below 1.

Ministers do not yet seem confident to avoid a second spike if they relax the measures now, and it is therefore unlikely that this criterion will be met.


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