The government is preparing the UK for a gradual return to a "new normal", with the possibility of blocking restrictions being applied in a "localized" manner, according to Cabinet Minister Michael Gove.
He suggested the possibility at the Coronavirus daily press conference, where NHS professor Stephen Powis said the peak of hospitalizations had already passed, mainly in London.
Gove said that ministers are working with employers and unions to ensure that workers understand safety guidelines and that public officials are provided with protective equipment that varies "from one environment to another".
He said: "The strategy is a phased approach that allows us to monitor the impact and challenges on public health and, if necessary, in a specific localized way, we can pause or change as needed".
Before any review of the current blockade, Gove said it would be imperative that the government's five points have to be met.
He said: “Before we can ease existing restrictions, we must ensure that the government's five tests are met. That the number of cases is falling, that death rates are decreasing, that the NHS has what it needs, and that measures are in place to prevent a second peak from dominating the NHS. "
Gove did not provide further details on how the localized restrictions could be implemented, but noted how the "surprising" increase in the test level would give people greater confidence when the block is eased.
However, at the point of testing, he announced that only 76,496 tests were performed yesterday, a significant drop in numbers just days after the government celebrated reaching Secretary of Health Matt Hancock's "audacious" goal of 100,000 tests one day. The government was criticized for including 40,000 postal tests sent, but not necessarily completed.
Gove suggested that the drop in testing could be reduced by the weekend, as fewer people were working.
Today's briefing announced an additional 327 deaths, bringing the latest number of coronavirus deaths in the UK to 28,446 and making it the second highest in Europe.