UK's coronavirus threat level should be should be reduced from 4 to 3, say chief medical officers
The country’s chief medical officers have recommended that the coronavirus alert level is reduced from Level 4 to Level 3.
Chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland say they made the recommendation after reviewing all the evidence.
Level 4 means the virus is in general circulation, and that transmission is high or rising exponentially, whereas level 3 means the epidemic is in general circulation.
The decision was made by chief medical officer for England, Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for Northern Ireland, Michael McBride, chief medical officer for Scotland, Dr Gregor Smith, and deputy chief medical officer for Wales, Chris Jones.
In a statement, the UK's chief medical officers said: "There has been a steady decrease in cases we have seen in all four nations, and this continues.
"It does not mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur.
"We have made progress against the virus thanks to the efforts of the public and we need the public to continue to follow the guidelines carefully to ensure this progress continues."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said moving to a lower alert level was "a big moment for the country, and a real testament to the British people's determination to beat this virus".
"Infection rates are rapidly falling, we have protected the NHS and, thanks to the hard work of millions in our health and social care services, we are getting the country back on her feet," he said.
People are being urged to continue washing their hands and to keep a 2m distance away from other people.