UK Prime Minister to launch Covid-19 alert system

UK Prime Minister to launch Covid-19 alert system
Boris Johnson is expected to announce the alert system when he addresses the country on Sunday. Source: Getty Images
3 Min Read

Daily US Times: The UK government is about to launch a Covid-19 alert system to track the virus. Prime Minister is expected to announce on Sunday.

The system will rank the threat level from coronavirus on a scale of one to five and be adjusted according to data.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will update the UK on the progress of lockdown measures in a televised address at 19:00 BST.

He is expected to unveil a new slogan, telling the public to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”.

The new system will apply to England only but the government is working with the devolved administrations as they develop their own.

The system will alert ranging from green (level one) to red (level five). It is understood that the system will be similar to the one used to keep the public informed about the terror threat level.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce England is currently at stage four but moving towards stage three.

New slogan ‘needs clarity’

Robert Jenrick, the Communities Secretary, said it was the right time to “update and broaden” the message to the public from “stay at home” to “stay alert”.

He said: “Stay alert will mean stay alert by staying home as much as possible, but stay alert when you do go out by maintaining social distancing, washing your hands, respecting others in the workplace and the other settings that you’ll go to.”

But shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the government must clarify what the new slogan means.

He told BBC: “When you’re dealing with a public health crisis of this nature you need absolute clarity from government about what the advice is. There is no room for nuance.”

He said that many people will be puzzled by the new message.

The alert tool will reflect the virus threat in different parts of the country, meaning the threat level in one city could differ quite widely from another.

It could also inform the local alteration of restrictions in England.

A meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee involving devolved nations, the cabinet and the mayor of London will be held before Mr Johnson’s televised address on Sunday evening, with the plans to be put before Parliament on Monday.

Mr Jenrick said the UK government’s “strong preference” was for the devolved nations “to move as one”.

A contact tracing app being trialled on the Isle of Wight had been downloaded by about 50,000 people, the communities secretary also told the BBC.

You may read: NHS workers’ lives at risk over PPE shortages, says BMA