UK Covid alert level reduced as risk of NHS becoming overwhelmed ‘has receded’
The UK’s four chief medical officers have issued a statement on Thursday afternoon
announcing the agreement that the country’s Covid-19 alert level should move from five – its highest – down to four as the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed within 21 days “has receded”.
The statement says:
“Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 5 to level 4 in all 4 nations.
“The health services across the 4 nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital. However, thanks to the efforts of the public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.
“We should be under no illusions – transmission rates, hospital pressures and deaths are still very high. In time, the vaccines will have a major impact and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they receive the offer. However, for the time being it is really important that we all – vaccinated or not – remain vigilant and continue to follow the guidelines.
“We know how difficult the situation has been and remains to be for healthcare workers. We thank them for their immense effort, skill and professionalism throughout the pandemic.”
Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty
Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride
Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Dr Gregor Smith
Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton
NHS England National Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis