Coronavirus: Boris Johnson to launch threat level alert system


An alert system to rank the threat level of coronavirus in England is set to be launched by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his lockdown speech later.

The system, which will use a scale of one to five and be adjusted according to data, is to be a part of the PM’s televised address at 19:00 BST.

Mr Johnson will also explain any changes to the lockdown measures.

It comes after he introduced a new slogan, telling the public to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”.

The threat level system will apply to England only but the government is working with the devolved administrations as they develop their own.

It is understood the system – with alerts ranging from green (level one) to red (level five) – will be similar to the one used to keep the public informed about the terror threat level.

In his address, Mr Johnson is expected to say England is currently at stage four but moving towards stage three.

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How can I follow the PM’s speech?

Boris Johnson’s national address will be broadcast across BBC News at 19:00 BST.

Ways to follow our coverage include:

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The alert tool – to be administered by a new “joint biosecurity centre” – will reflect the virus threat in different parts of the country, meaning the threat level in one city could differ quite widely from another.

This could inform the local alteration of restrictions in England.

A meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee involving the cabinet, devolved nations and the mayor of London, will take place before Mr Johnson’s broadcast.

The plans will then be put before Parliament on Monday.

According to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick, the UK government’s “strong preference” is for the devolved nations “to move as one”.

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