The joint biosecurity centre has reduced the Covid-19 alert level in the UK from 4 to 3, meaning the epidemic is in general circulation but transmission is no longer “high or rising exponentially”, after a recommendation by the chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
They said in a statement: “The joint biosecurity centre has recommended that the Covid-19 alert level should move from level 4 (a Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to level 3 (a Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation).
“The CMOs for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have reviewed the evidence and agree with this recommendation to move to level 3 across the UK.
“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.”
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said the lowering of the Covid-19 alert level was a “big moment” for the UK, and showed the “government’s plan is working”.
He 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.”