Covid-19 alert level reduced from four to three

The coronavirus alert level in the UK has now officially been downgraded from four to three.

It was confirmed by the chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on Friday morning (June 19) following a recommendation by the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

In a joint statement, they 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 three, the virus is considered to be "in general circulation" and there could be a "gradual relaxing of restrictions and social distancing measures". 

The two factors which determine the alert level are the R (reproduction) number and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases at any one time.

It was put in place by the government to signify the threat to the country posed by the disease.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “The UK moving to a lower alert level is a big moment for the country, and a real testament to the British people’s determination to beat this virus.

“The government’s plan is working. Infection rates are rapidly falling, we have protected the NHS and, thanks to the hard work of millions in our health and social care services, we are getting the country back on her feet.”

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