Everything we know about phase two of UK lockdown

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Ministers face continued questioning over the UK's plan for lifting its coronavirus lockdown, as European countries begin to ease their own restrictions.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said lockdown will only be eased if the country can meet five tests.

The next three-week review of the lockdown restrictions is due on May 7 – which is when phase two is expected to come into place.

What is phase two?

In order to move onto phase two of the Government's coronavirus plan, Britain must meet five key tests.

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They are:

  1. "We must protect the NHS' ability to cope. We must be confident 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 rate from coronavirus so we can be confident 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."

Once these have been met, potentially lockdown restrictions will be lifted in a gradual process.

What has Boris Johnson said about phase two?

In the Prime Minister's speech on Monday morning, he said: "When we're sure that this first phase is over and that we're meeting our five tests – deaths falling, NHS protected, rate of infection down, really sorting out the challenges of testing and PPE, avoiding a second peak – then that will be the time to move on to the second phase in which we continue to suppress the disease and keep the reproduction rate, the R rate, down but begin gradually to refine the economic and social restrictions, and one by one to fire up the engines of this vast UK economy.

"And in that process difficult judgements will be made, and we simply cannot spell out now how fast or slow or even when those changes will be made, though clearly the Government will be saying much more about this in the coming days.

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"And I want to serve notice now that these decisions will be taken with the maximum possible transparency, and I want to share all our working and our thinking, my thinking, with you, the British people.

"And of course, we will be relying as ever on the science to inform us, as we have from the beginning but we will also be reaching out to build the biggest possible consensus across business, across industry, across all parts of our United Kingdom, across party lines, bringing in opposition parties as far as we possibly can."

When is phase two taking place?

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Downing Street was unable to specify when in the "coming days" the Government will give details on alterations to the lockdown.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "I don't have a fixed date to give you right now."

But it was understood that it will be made clear by the end of the week how ministers will judge the ability to move into the second phase.

Mr Johnson has said the Government's five tests must be met before changes are made, but his spokesman was unable to say which had been met.

The spokesman said: "The PM has said we will be setting out more details in the coming days.

"We're coming through the peak and we will set out more information in due course."

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