COVID Alert Level downgraded to 3
The United Kingdom has downgraded its COVID-19 alert level from 4 to 3 as the NHS vaccination programme and social distancing measures take effect in bringing down transmission rates. The change in the level means the epidemic is in general circulation but transmission of the virus is no longer deemed to be high or rising exponentially. This decision was made by all four UK nations’ Chief Medical Officers, along with the NHS England Medical Director Stephen Powis.
A statement from Chief Medical Officers from each UK nation, and NHS England Medical Director Stephen Powis, said: “Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the UK chief medical officers and NHS England national medical director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 4 to level 3.” According to the statement, “case numbers, deaths and COVID hospital pressures have fallen consistently” owing to social distancing measures and the roll-out of vaccines to the population. Two-thirds of UK adults have received a COVID vaccination. 35 million people have received their first dose, 16.7 million have received both.
Experts in the UK will be examining any problematic variants of concern that could threaten the progress made which has led to the alert downgrading. Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, scientists said it was too soon to be sure just how problematic the most threatening Indian COVID variant (B.1.617.) may be. Boris Johnson is expected to confirm that England can press ahead with the next phase out of lockdown from 17 May, which allows more freedoms in and outdoors.