UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has explained more details about its COVID Alerts System and how it will impact on social distancing restrictions.
Speaking on Monday evening, the Prime Minister said that the UK is currently at ‘Level 4’ on the system and that we are now in a position to start gradually moving towards ‘Level 3.’
On the system, set out below in a government slide, Level 5 is the most severe level, while level 1 represents a time where COVID-19 is not known to be present in the UK.
Currently, there are strict social distancing measures and restrictions in place. As we move into level 3, social distancing measures will remain but will be slightly and gradually relaxed – this is in accordance with COVID-19 being in general circulation but the transmission rate being much lower than previously. When the UK reaches level 2 of the system, minimal or no social distancing will be required.
The COVID Alerts system may detect ‘flare-ups’ of the virus in certain areas of the UK. Answering a question from a member of the public on Monday evening, Boris Johnson said it was right that different parts of the UK responded to the virus slightly differently;
“We have a situation in the UK where the disease, the epidemic is at different stages in different places and it is entirely right that different devolved administrations are taking slightly different approaches to deal with the epidiemic in their nation and we respect that and support that.
“When you look at the totality of the approach, I really think that actually the unity between us is far more significant than the differences.”
“Part of the solution is going to be as we go forward, we will be responding, John, with local responses, so if there is a flare-up in a particular part of the country, in a town, in a village, which we detect with our COVID Alerts system, then we will be firefighting, doing whack a mole to deal with that issue as it arises, so having a local, regional, national approach makes sense, but it also makes sense to have a strong UK approach as well.”
The COVID Alert System was set out to the public for the first time on Sunday when Boris Johnson addressed the nation in a pre-recorded message, announcing the extension of lockdown measures but giving a roadmap for the gradual easing of some restrictions.
Photo Credit: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street under licence (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)