Exit Strategies COVID-19

In a recent address by the Foreign Secretary, the UK Government maintain that they will not remove restrictions before their five tests are met

The five tests are shown below and you can read the full statement from the Foreign Secretary here

1. we must protect the NHS’s ability to cope. We must be confident that we are able to provide sufficient critical care and specialist treatment right across the UK. 
2. we need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rates from coronavirus so we are confident that we have moved beyond the peak.
3. we need to have reliable data from SAGE showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.
4. we need to be confident that the range of operational challenges, including testing capacity and PPE, are in hand, with supply able to meet future demand.
5. we need to be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS. 

Since then both the Scottish and Welsh Government have issued frameworks that look towards transitioning out of the current lockdown phase.

Although this is Scotland and Wales only it provides a potential template or indication for what a UK wide exit from the current restrictions might look like.

Scottish Government Exit Strategy

The Scottish Government has released a document which sets out their framework for decision-making in regards to the coronavirus restrictions. Key points:

  • Scotland is planning for a managed transition away from current restrictions.
  • Appropriate physical distancing will need to remain in place.
  • Need to be prepared for restrictions to be re-imposed as well as lifted.
  • It is likely that gathering in groups, for example at pubs or at public events, will be banned or restricted for some time.
  • If transmission increases, restrictions could be re-imposed. It is possible that this cycle may happen more than once until there is an effective vaccine.
  • Different options will be considered, including easing restrictions in a phased manner or opening up different parts of the economy.
  • Some form of shielding for the vulnerable will still be required.
  • Enforceable measures will be reviewed at least once every three weeks. 

Welsh Government Exit Strategy

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford has published a framework to help lead Wales out of COVID-19 lockdown.

The First Minister of
Wales, Mark Drakeford has published a framework to help lead Wales out of COVID-19 lockdown.

The framework has three pillars:

  • Measures and evidence on which the infection level and transmission rates will be judged – Factors considered include a sustained decrease in key metrics, evidence that the health service will cope, assurances on PPE, and international comparisons.
  • Principles by which they will examine proposed measures to ease restrictions (based on scientific evidence and economy/social impacts) – Options for lifting lockdown will be considered on their ability to provide evidence as to the extent their adoption will have a negative effect on containing the virus, its ability to be enforced or withdrawn if necessary, and it’s economic/social benefit.
  •  A plan for enhancing public health surveillance and response system to track cases.