Government denies changing five 'pillars' for lifting lockdown

Britain's capital remains a ghost town as the UK prepares to enter a sixth week in lockdown (PA Images)
Britain's capital remains a ghost town as the UK prepares to enter a sixth week in lockdown (PA Images)
12:01pm, Wed 29 Apr 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

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 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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