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UK COVID Alert Level to move from Level 4 to Level 3

UK COVID Alert Level to move from Level 4 to Level 3

The UK's chief medical officers have recommended that the COVID-19 alert level should be reduced from level four to level three.

The change in the alert level indicates that the virus is in general circulation in the UK but that transmission is no longer rising "exponentially".

The COVID Alerts system was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month as he announced a roadmap for the easing of restrictions. Speaking on 11 May, the PM said that the UK was currently at Level 4 of the system but was in the position to start to gradually move towards Level 3.

The change in alert level in the UK comes as the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 have been falling. The Joint Biosecurity Centre recommended that the alert level be reduced to level 3 and the UK's Chief Medical Officers agreed with this recommendation after evidence had been reviewed.

In a statement, the CMOs said;

"There has been a steady decrease in cases we have seen in all four nations, and this continues. It does not mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur.

We have made progress against the virus thanks to the efforts of the public and we need the public to continue to follow the guidelines carefully to ensure this progress continues."

Under level 3 of the COVID Alerts Levels system, there can be the 'gradual relaxing of restrictions and social distancing measures'. The UK Government has already eased several measures recently, including allowing retail outlets, zoos, safari parks and outdoor cinemas to reopen this week.

The easing of restrictions have varied across the four nations of the UK, with the different devolved governments generally easing restrictions more gradually and at a slower rate than has taken place in the UK.

The levels below Level 3 on the Alerts System include Level 2, where COVID-19 is 'present in the UK but the number of cases and transmission is low', and Level 1, where COVID-19 is 'not known to be present in the UK'.

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