The chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have recommended all four nations to upgrade their coronavirus alert levels from three to four following a rise in cases.
The CMOs reviewed the evidence yesterday and subsequently decided to move the COVID-19 alert level from level three (a COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation) to level four (a COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation and transmission is high or rising exponentially).
The move comes following a significant rise in coronavirus cases in the UK over the past few weeks, with 4,368 cases reported in the UK on Monday.
Yesterday, the UK’s chief scientific adviser warned that the 50,000 new coronavirus cases per day could occur by mid-October if action is not taken now.
“After a period of lower COVID cases and deaths, the number of cases are now rising rapidly and probably exponentially in significant parts of all four nations,” the CMOs said in a statement released yesterday.
“If we are to avoid significant excess deaths and exceptional pressure in the NHS and other health services over the autumn and winter everyone has to follow the social distancing guidance, wear face coverings correctly and wash their hands regularly. We know this will be a concerning news for many people; please follow the rules, look after each other and together we will get through this,” they added.
Later today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce new measures to curb the rise in coronavirus cases, following a Cobra meeting which will be attended by the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove has already recommended that people should work from home if possible to slow the spread of the virus, while pubs, bars, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England will now have to close at 10pm from Thursday