What are the five coronavirus alert system levels and which stage is the UK in right now?

20 May 2020, 14:28

This is what the Government's COVID Alert System means
This is what the Government's COVID Alert System means. Picture: PA/HM Government
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

The Government have created The Covid Alert System to help explain to the public where we stand amid the pandemic, but what do the levels mean?

Weeks ago, the UK Government created The Covid Alert System, a five level hierarchy which allows the public to follow the stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

Depending on the level we are at as a nation, lockdown and social distancing measures will change.

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Where we stand on the hierarchy is determined by the number of deaths and cases of coronavirus in the UK, as well as the reinfection rate.

Here's everything you need to know about the system, including what each level means and where we are currently.

The level on the COVID Alert System is mainly determined by the 'R' rate
The level on the COVID Alert System is mainly determined by the 'R' rate. Picture: Getty

What are the five coronavirus alert system stages?

Level 5 (highest)

Description: As level 4 there is a material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed

Action: Social distancing measures increase from today's level

Level 4

Descripton: A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially

Action: Current social distancing measures and restrictions

Level 3

Description: A COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation

Action: Gradual relaxing of restrictions and social distancing measures

Level 2

Description: COVID-19 is present in the UK, but the number of cases and transmission is low

Action: No or minimal social distancing measures; enhanced testing, tracing, monitoring and screening

Level 1 (lowest)

Description: COVID-19 is not known to be present in the UK

Action: Routine international monitoring

The UK is currently moving into level 3
The UK is currently moving into level 3. Picture: HM Government

What alert level are we currently at?

When the lockdown was announced on March 23, we were in level 4.

Now, the Government have announced that due to the safety measures, we are "ready to move into level 3" in "careful steps".

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