Evidence on Phase 4 criteria
To progress to Phase 4, the following criterion must be met:
"The virus is no longer considered a significant threat to public health."
The Chief Medical Officer provides advice on whether this criterion has been met. He has confirmed that his view as expressed at the last review point remains valid and that the Phase 4 criterion has not been met. This judgement reflects both domestic and international data on the progress of the epidemic. Since the last review, there have been increased numbers of local outbreaks and there are indications that the disease activity has increased during this review period and as such, the threat has not receded but increased. Key conditions remain to be met that would support a judgement that the disease no longer represents a significant threat to public health, such as the roll-out of an effective vaccine programme and/or development of effective treatments for the virus that significantly reduced public health risk.
The phase criteria in the Route Map have been set to ensure safe progress between phases and confidence in the ensuing re-opening of the economy and broader society. The Phase 3 criteria were judged to have been met at the 9th July review point, enabling the move into Phase 3. Meeting those criteria involved suppressing the virus to low levels through a sustained decline in infectious cases and a consistently low R number. Even though the criteria are only necessary to be met to enter Phase 3, it remains important to monitor performance against them, including the broader WHO conditions that form part of the phase criteria, to inform ongoing decision-making on the remaining Phase 3 Route Map changes.
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