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UK to launch Covid-19 pandemic monitoring system ranking threat level from 1 to 5

The UK is reportedly to launch a system that tracks the evolution of the pandemic the country.

The system will rank the health threat level on a scale from 1 to 5, in a similar way to what happens with terror threat levels.

A biosecurity center will collect data and monitor progress against the virus, hence determining the government’s response.

Specific measures may be implemented in certain parts of the country, depending on the evolution of the pandemic.

The system is expected to be announced by Prime Minister Boris Johson during tonight’s address to the nation at 8pm.

Ahead of the speech, Johnson launched on Twitter the new key message in the battle to Covid-19, “Stay alert”, a softer version of the previous one, “Stay home”.

Johnson is to announce a “roadmap” of how the UK can start relaxing some of the lockdown measures, notably on how mothballed sectors of the economy and schools can reopen in an era of social distancing.

Changes may include being able to exercise more than once a day and the reopening of garden centres.

There’s also widespread speculation that Johnson will announce a 14-day quarantine for all travellers coming to the UK but those from Ireland.

Industry group Airlines UK said it had been told by the government that the plan will be in place by the end of the month or early June.

“We will be asking for assurances that this decision has been led by the science and that government has a credible exit plan, with weekly reviews to ensure the restrictions are working and still required,” the organization said.

“Extreme caution is actually the watchword”, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said yesterday.

His comments came as British police warned they are “fighting a losing battle” as Londoners headed out to parks, families descended on the pebble beaches of Brighton in southern England and many drivers set out on what are considered unessential journeys amid the lockdown.

“It’s vital that we don’t throw away essentially the great work of seven weeks of people respecting very impressively the rules and the guidelines, by throwing it away because it happens to be sunny outside this weekend,” Shapps said. “That would be absolutely tragic.”

The UK is currently Europe’s worst-hit country in terms of Covid-19 related deaths, more than 31,600 – second only to the US in the world.

It has also reported more than 216,500 cases overall.