Downgraded alert level ‘signals perfect time to confirm reopening date’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Clarity needed: the Government had given the proposed date for reopening at 4 July but has yet to confirm this
Clarity needed: the Government had given the proposed date for reopening at 4 July but has yet to confirm this

Related tags: coronavirus, Government, ukhospitality

The UK moving down to Covid-19 alert level three presents an ideal opportunity for Government to confirm the reopening date for pubs, a leading trade body has said.

The UK was previously at Covid-19 alert level four, which meant current social distancing measures and restrictions were necessary. However, the downgrading to level three means gradual relaxing of restrictions and social distancing measures can now take place.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Dropping the alert level is a clear message from Government that Britain is moving away from the worst of the crisis and towards a return to normality.

“Therefore, now would be the perfect time to confirm 4 July as the date for reopening hospitality businesses."

Time running out

Nicholls added: “The Scottish Government has published its plans and the Welsh Government has delivered new clarity so it’s up to Westminster to complete the picture.

“We also need reopening guidance as soon as possible, as it takes time to plan the reopening of venues and time is running out.”

Health secretary Matt Hancock said the UK moving to a lower alert level was a big moment for the country.

The chief medical officers (CMOs) for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland released a statement, which said: “The Joint Biosecurity Centre has recommended the Covid-19 alert level should move from level four (a Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially) to level three (a Covid-19 epidemic is in general circulation)."

Steady decrease

It added: “The CMOs for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have reviewed the evidence and agree with this recommendation to move to level three across the UK.

It continued: “There has been a steady decrease in cases we have seen in all four nations and this continues. It does not mean 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.”

Related topics: Legislation

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