A statement from doctors and the national medical director of NHS England said people must remain “vigilant” to the virus, but said the decision to lower the alert level was “thanks to the efforts of the British public”.
They said: ‘Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Center and in light of the most recent data, UK chief medical officers and the national medical director of NHS England agree that the UK alert level should move from level 4 to level 3.
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“Thanks to the UK public’s social distancing efforts and the impact we are starting to see from the vaccination program, the number of cases, deaths and hospital pressures related to COVID have dropped steadily.
” However COVID is still circulating with people catching and spreading the virus every day, so we all need to continue to be vigilant. It remains a major pandemic in the world.
“It is very important that we all continue to follow the guidelines closely and that everyone receives both doses of the vaccine when offered. “
The downgrading comes after a “steady” drop in cases, hospital admissions and deaths.
Here’s what each alert level means:
Level 5 – The higher on the scale, this indicates that there is a “significant risk” of NHS overflow.
Reaching this level would imply stricter social distancing measures.
Level 4 – This means that the COVID-19 epidemic “is in general circulation” and that “transmission is high or increasing exponentially”.
Level 3 – Although this level also suggests that the epidemic is “in general circulation”, it omits the statement “transmission is high or increasing exponentially”.
This would mean a gradual reduction in social distancing measures and restrictions.
Level 2 – To move to this level, government guidelines say the virus is believed to be present in the UK, but the number of cases and transmission is low.
He says it would then allow “zero or minimum social distancing measures”, but with improved “testing, tracing, surveillance and tracing”.
This level has not been reached since the introduction of the system.
Level 1 – The level that the government hopes to finally reach, this would indicate that “COVID-19 is not known to be present in the United Kingdom”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm that England can move forward with the next phase of loosening the lockout from May 17th, including households mixing inside and the return of hospitality inside.
The latest data suggests that easing restrictions is unlikely to cause a resurgence of infections, the government said.
Professor Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, said the nation was in a “very strong position” to continue to ease restrictions and allow people “to try to get back to normal. “.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I think we are in a very strong position to move forward now with less restrictions and try to get back to normal. “
More than a third of UK adults are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 – with nearly 18 million people having received both vaccines – 33.5% of people aged 18 and over.
Overall, over 53 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the UK.