Britain has turned a corner in the coronavirus pandemic in a "bad sense", which means infections will rise at a dangerous pace unless tougher action is taken, the UK's top medical advisor said on Monday.
Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Chris Whitty joined the government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Patrick Vallance, at a Downing Street briefing to present a host of charts and data to warn that the rate at which coronavirus is spreading across the country could see 50,000 new cases a day by mid-October without further restrictions. Their warnings indicate that tighter lockdown measures on household interactions and hospitality businesses are imminent.
Meanwhile, The UK government on Monday raised its coronavirus alert level from three to four, which indicates that the transmission of the virus is high and rising "exponentially".
The Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) of all four regions of the United Kingdom - England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales - issued a joint statement to confirm the change in the alert level for all parts of the UK as the prospect of a second nationwide lockdown looks imminent.
"The Joint Biosecurity Centre has recommended that the COVID-19 alert level should move from Level 3 (a COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation) to Level 4 (a COVID-19 epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially)," the CMOs said.