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The Government’s five key tests for easing lockdown which have been met

The Prime Minister said progress has been made after reviewing social distancing measures.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a media briefing in Downing Street that the Government’s five key tests for easing lockdown has been met (Andrew Parsons/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a media briefing in Downing Street that the Government’s five key tests for easing lockdown has been met (Andrew Parsons/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a media briefing in Downing Street that the Government’s five key tests for easing lockdown has been met (Andrew Parsons/PA)

The Government has announced that the five tests it set out in order to adjust lockdown restrictions have been met, which has paved the way for schools and some shops to reopen from next week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement at the Downing Street daily briefing on Thursday, after social-distancing measures were reviewed and advisers updated the Government on how much progress has been made towards meeting the five tests required for the next phase of lockdown easing to begin.

Mr Johnson confirmed that all five tests have been met, adding: “The result is we can moved forward with adjusting the lockdown on Monday.”

Here is how we have met each of the five tests.

– Test 1: The NHS has the capacity to provide critical care right across the UK

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NHS Nightingale North East hospital in Sunderland (Owen Humphreys/PA)

NHS Nightingale North East hospital in Sunderland (Owen Humphreys/PA)

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NHS Nightingale North East hospital in Sunderland (Owen Humphreys/PA)

The first test is whether the NHS has the capacity to look after those seriously ill with coronavirus – which can be measured by spare beds in intensive care.

Figures revealed at the briefing show an estimated 475 people with coronavirus were admitted to hospital in England on Tuesday, which has decreased significantly from a peak of 3,121 more than three weeks ago on April 2.

On Wednesday, 11% of ventilator beds were filled in the UK by coronavirus patients, which has decreased from a peak of 41% on April 10.

Mr Johnson said: “At the start of the outbreak, there was significant concern that the NHS would not be able to cope.

“That turned out not to be the case, thanks to the heroic efforts of everyone who works in the NHS, and the heroic efforts of the British people to contain this virus.”

He added: “This significant progress means we are meeting the first test.”

– Test 2: A sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths from coronavirus

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(Jacob King/PA)

(Jacob King/PA)

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(Jacob King/PA)

Mr Johnson said the UK daily death rate measured on a seven-day rolling average currently stood at 256, down from a peak of 943 more than six weeks ago on April 14.

These figures, from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), are based on daily Covid-19 deaths confirmed with a positive test, although it does not state in which settings.

However, the Government noted that the weekly registered deaths from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) include cases where Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate, but was not confirmed with a test.

This meant that on May 15, the ONS reported 45,231 cumulative registered deaths involving Covid-19, which was 11,233 more than the DHSC figure for the same date.

Mr Johnson added: “While every death is one too many, it is now the case that there has been a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate, and so the second test is being met.”

– Test 3: The rate of infection decreased to manageable levels across the board

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Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA)

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA)

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Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA)

It was announced that the R value, or infection rate, currently stood between 0.7 and 0.9, a slight decrease from Friday when the upper band had been one.

The R value must remain under one to avoid a rise in infections.

Mr Johnson said the rate of infection is “decreasing to manageable levels across the board”.

According to data from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), an average of 2,312 new cases were confirmed in the last seven days, which is more than half the average of 5,066 in the first week of May.

However, the Government states the data only included cases that have tested positive, stating “there are more cases than confirmed here” on its official slides displayed at the briefing.

– Test 4: Operational challenges including testing and PPE are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand

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Workers holding PPE at the Belfast Trust in the grounds of Belfast City Hospital (Liam McBurney/PA)

Workers holding PPE at the Belfast Trust in the grounds of Belfast City Hospital (Liam McBurney/PA)

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Workers holding PPE at the Belfast Trust in the grounds of Belfast City Hospital (Liam McBurney/PA)

There had been repeated concerns among NHS and care staff over shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and on testing since the start of the outbreak.

Mr Johnson said he fully acknowledged the difficulties, describing it as “immensely frustrating”, but he added that progress has been made.

He said 119,587 tests were carried out on Wednesday, with testing capacity increasing to 161,214 a day.

After the Government previously set a target of 100,000 tests a day, a second target of a 200,000 daily testing capacity was set for the end of May.

Mr Johnson revealed the Government has signed more than 100 new deals with PPE suppliers around the world, with contracts for more than two billion items of PPE – including facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons.

He added: “We are therefore satisfied that the fourth test is being met and we can start to rebuild stocks – though we recognise there may be some settings that require urgent restocking on occasion.”

– Test 5: Confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelms the NHS

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Boris Johnson announced schools will reopen to more children from Monday (Jacob King/PA)

Boris Johnson announced schools will reopen to more children from Monday (Jacob King/PA)

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Boris Johnson announced schools will reopen to more children from Monday (Jacob King/PA)

Mr Johnson said his new measures for schools, retail and social contact, which go live from Monday, were assessed by his scientific and medical advisers.

He said the plans were “carefully designed” to ease the burdens of lockdown while trying to keep the R value below one.

But he noted that different parts of the UK were moving at different speeds due to the devolved powers of the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Nicola Sturgeon announced the first “cautious” steps out of the coronavirus lockdown will begin in Scotland on Friday.

The start of the first phase of a four-step plan will allow Scots to meet people from other households outdoors in parks and gardens while some outdoor sports will also be permitted.

Northern Ireland ministers said more retailers will be allowed to open and small outdoor weddings will receive the go-ahead from June 8 if the coronavirus infection rate remains under control.

Meanwhile in Wales, coronavirus restrictions are expected to be relaxed on Monday, the PA news agency understands.

First Minister Mark Drakeford is set to announce on Friday that people from two different households will be able to meet up outdoors, as long as they do not travel more than five miles.

Addressing the public at the briefing, Mr Johnson said: “It is thanks to the caution we have shown so far that all five tests are being met.

“That is not my achievement or the Government’s achievement – it is your achievement, only possible thanks to your resolve and dedication to our national purpose to overcome this virus.”

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