The UK Government has set out four tests that need to be met for England to move to the next stage of lockdown easing.
The four steps for the easing of lockdown measures in England are to be set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday afternoon. While the PM is expected to give some indication of dates for when lockdown measures will ease, moving between steps will rely on the government being satisfied that some tests are being met.
Before moving to the next step of easing lockdown measures, the government will look closely at data to assess the impact of previous restrictions being eased.
The government’s assessment will be based on the following four tests;
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern
The Government is currently satisfied that these tests are being met and so the first step of lockdown easing is set to take place from 8 March. Over the coming weeks and months, the above factors will be key ones to watch in considering whether lockdown measures will be eased further.
The specific tests only apply in England, with the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland setting out their own plans and approaches for easing lockdown measures.