29 April 2020

Government denies changing five 'pillars' for lifting lockdown

The Government has quashed claims that the ‘five pillars’ used to measure whether Britain is ready to exit lockdown have been changed.

Speculation arose after the slides used in Tuesday's daily coronavirus briefing were modified in a way that seemed to suggest the criteria had been altered.

The first pillar was changed slightly from ‘The NHS has capacity to provide critical care’ to The NHS has sufficient capacity to provide critical care'.

The third pillar was also altered from ‘The rate of infection decreased to manageable levels across the board’ to ‘Reliable data to show that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board’.

And the final pillar, which read ‘Confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections’ also had a new addition to the end of it which said ‘that overwhelms the NHS’.

The government's original five pillars to measure whether to lift the lockdown
The slightly modified slides used in yesterday's briefing

However, a spokesperson for No 10 told The Sun on Tuesday: "No change to the tests.

"The slide has just been updated to more specifically reflect what Dominic Raab said on 16 April: 'Fifth, and this is really crucial, we need to be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS.'"

Governments across several European countries such as Germany, France, Italy and Belgium have now detailed their lockdown exit strategies.

But the UK decision-makers remain tight-lipped on what Britain plans to do moving forward in the coming weeks, despite a downward trend for both the number of new cases and number of fatalities per day.

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