Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under fire from some scientists for easing a lockdown put in place 10 weeks ago, with some saying it was a premature and risky move in the absence of a fully functioning system to track new outbreaks.
With Britain experiencing one of the world's highest death rates from COVID-19, the government says it is easing the stringent lockdown "cautiously" to balance the need to restart the economy, but also to try to prevent another increase in the number of infections. But some say Britain is not prepared.
- It's not quite as binary as you've described. We've taken evidence from the scientists. You've interviewed them on this show at various points. I spoke to Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific advisor, over the weekend. And the measures that we're taking now, as we always said, are only taken on the condition that the five tests that we've set out have been met. They are being met. And, of course, we won't take any further steps-- or, indeed, we'll have to take further restrictive measures-- if we find any uptick--
- --in the virus.
- And it appears that you are designed to break those rules, because you're going to relax restrictions and social distancing measures at level four, not at level three.
- We're transitioning from four-- level four-- to level three. The reason that we can take the steps we're taking now is based on the cumulative advice that we've had from SAGE, from the medical community, that-- and we would have taken more steps if we could have done, but we're taking very cautious steps.