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Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020

UK ready to move to 'level three' of lockdown as infections drop

The UK will soon be able to move to level three of lockdown in ‘careful steps’, the Business Secretary has said.
Speaking at today’s daily press conference, Alok Sharma stated that the alert levels are based on the R value and number of coronavirus cases in the UK. The higher the alert level, the more strict the lockdown measures need to be, he said.

He then went on to say that, thanks to the public following social distancing rules, the UK will soon be moving forward. He said: ‘Throughout the period of lockdown we have been at Level four.

‘Thanks to you, people across the country, we have collectively helped to bring the R level down. We are now in a position to begin moving to level 3, in careful steps.

‘We have set out the first of three steps we will take to carefully modify the measures, gradually ease the restrictions and begin to allow people to return to their usual way of life while avoiding a disastrous second peak that overwhelms the NHS.’

Sharma said after every step the government would continue to monitor the impact on R and the number of infections taking place across the country. He added: ‘We will only take the next step when we are satisfied that it is safe to do so.’

One of the first steps is allowing those who cannot work from home to return to their jobs, Sharma continued. He said those who fall into that category should be speaking to their employers.

The public are now also allowed to have ‘unlimited’ exercise outside and can sit down outdoors if they wish. Households are still not allowed to mix, but one person can meet up with another outdoors, so long as they keep two metres apart at all times.

At least 34,636 people have so-far died with coronavirus in the UK, following a further 170 deaths.

It is one of the lowest daily increases since the end of March, although numbers at the weekend are often smaller than during the week as staff who collate the figures may not be working.
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