In today's COVID-19 pandemic briefing, Business Secretary Alok Sharma described five tests which would inform the government's relaxation of the lockdown rules:

there are 5 tests that must be satisfied before we will consider it safe to adjust any of the current measures.

First, 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.

Second, we need to see a sustained and consistent fall in the daily death rate from coronavirus, so we can be confident that we have moved beyond the peak.

Third, we need to have reliable data from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) showing that the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board.

Fourth, 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.

Fifth, and most importantly, we need to be confident that any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelm the NHS.

Is there any information about how the government came up with these tests? Have they been drawn up by an advisory body such as Public Health England, or have they been drawn up by the Cabinet?

1 Answer 1


These tests seem to have originated from the UK First Secretary of State Dominic Raab:

Dominic Raab has this evening confirmed that there will a lockdown extension of three weeks... While the government line remains that ministers will not publicly discuss an exit strategy on the grounds that it distracts from the current social distancing measure, Raab went the furthest he has in addressing the issue. The Foreign Secretary set out the criteria that would have to be met for any lockdown easing:

1) Evidence that the NHS can cope across the UK

2) A sustained fall in daily death rates

3) Evidence that the rate of infection is decreasing

4) Confidence that supplies of testing and PPE are able to meet demand

5) No risk of a second peak

As far as I can tell, there is no public information beyond that of how these rules were drafted.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .