The five key factors the government will look for before lifting lockdown restrictions
The Government will look at five factors in deciding when to start lifting coronavirus restrictions – but what are they?
Acting Prime Minister Dominic Raab announced a three-week extension of the existing lockdown at the Downing Street press conference today, Thursday, April 16.
And he outlined the five factors the Government will take into consideration when it looks at when, and how, to start lifting the restrictions.
Making sure the NHS can deal with the number of people needing treatment
“We must protect the NHS’s ability to cope,” said Mr Raab.
“We must be confident we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK.
“NHS staff have been incredible – we must continue to support them as much as we can.”
Sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths
Mr Raab said the Government had to be confident the country had moved beyond the peak number of deaths before easing restrictions.
Reliable data that infection is decreasing
The Government is taking advice from the nationalScientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which is ‘responsible for ensuring that timely and coordinated scientific advice is made available to decision makers to support UK cross-government decisions’.
Membership of the group varies according to the nature of the emergency but it ‘typically includes leading experts from within government and leading specialists from the fields of academia and industry.’
Ensuring there is enough PPE and testing capacity
Mr Rab said it was essential to ensure challenges such as testing capacity and the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) are in hand ‘with supply able to meet future demand’.
No risk a second peak of infections
Mr Raab said it was ‘really crucial’ to ensure lifting the current restrictions would not risk a second surge in the number of coronavirus cases nationwide that overwhelmed the NHS.
“The worst thing we could do right now is to ease up too soon, allow a second peak of the virus to hit the NHS and hit the British people,” he said.
“It would be the worst outcome not just for public health but for the economy and for our country as a whole.”