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Why is the PM saying he will open shops, schools etc, almost back to normal, when the 5 tests have not been met?

(59 Posts)
5TestsNotMet Tue 26-May-20 11:34:23

Ignoring the Cummings saga, which is clearly taking up all the headlines, and which will likely lead to reduced adherence to the current rules, why on earth is Johnson proposing to virtually end the lockdown in just 3 weeks?

Of the 5 tests he said would have to be met first, none of them could really be claimed to have been met.

This seems a guaranteed way to have a massive second wave.

I really hope I'm wrong - but all other countries which are successfully ending lockdown without a second wave are countries which HAVE met those tests, eg. Germany, Ireland, Denmark. We can't realistically compare ourselves to these countries when we have the highest death rate in Europe.

We should not be ending lockdown when ANY of these 5 tests remain unmet:

1. making sure the NHS can cope and continues to have sufficient capacity across the UK - not the case in eg Somerset at the moment.
2. a ‘sustained and consistent’ fall in daily deaths - in some parts of the UK they are not showing sustained falls. And recent changes to rules may soon show up in a rise in the overall death rate, it's too early to say.
3. solid data showing the rate of infection is decreasing to ‘manageable’ levels across the board - ditto to number 2.
4. ensuring that supply of tests and personal protective equipment (PPE) can meet future demand - this is still not the case. And opening up schools and workplaces will require vastly more PPE to be safe - where is this coming from? Testing numbers are still tiny compared to the total population.
5. be confident that they will avoid a second peak that would risk overwhelming the NHS - with 1-4 not fully met, a second peak seems inevitable.

It's hard to escape the idea that Johnson is using the Cummings saga to bring forward ending the lockdown - which polls showed the British public wanted to stay - as a way of returning to his preferred 'herd immunity' (ie culling the elderly and vulnerable) strategy.

Let's not forget that far more people died in the second wave of the 1918-19 flu pandemic -
due to lifting lockdowns too early - than died in the first wave. It is too early to be complacent.

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5TestsNotMet Tue 26-May-20 11:38:08

I do really hope I am wrong here and time will tell.

Putting this thread here as a marker of concerns raised, that the Government should be very aware of and acting in line with.

In reality, it will take weeks or even months until case rates and death rates reflect changes made to lockdown.

And that's without considering the effect that announcing these changes 3 weeks in advance will have on current compliance with the current rules.

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feelingverylazytoday Tue 26-May-20 11:42:20

1) just because one (small) hospital closed to admissions doesn't mean the NHS can't cope. It just means admissions are diverted to other local hospitals. Capacity was never breached throughout the whole surge and peak.
2) deaths are falling steadily, with some localised clusters remaining. Do you seriously the whole country should remain locked down because of these clusters?
3) ditto
4) Your proof of this is?
5) there's no indication of a second peak being inevitable.

DippyAvocado Tue 26-May-20 11:46:21

The 5 tests will not be mentioned again. As much evidence of them as can be will be deleted. It will be relied on that we have forgotten about the 5 tests. Or it will be assumed that the government was lying about them but as they do that all the time anyway, not that many people will care.

Useruseruserusee Tue 26-May-20 11:48:22

I agree with you OP.

MorrisZapp Tue 26-May-20 11:48:42

Your op is full of errors. Massive second wave? The peak was a month and a half ago. Please stop the hysteria and scaremongering.

5TestsNotMet Tue 26-May-20 11:51:44

MorrisZapp - do you have a crystal ball?

How do you KNOW a second wave can't happen?

I plan to keep returning to this thread to see if my predictions come true or not. Obviously, I sincerely hope they don't and you are right, and I am wrong.

Unfortunately, I do expect a large second wave though.

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AuntieStella Tue 26-May-20 11:54:28

I think it is very clear that test 4 has norton been met in terms of testing

Test/track/trace is not up and running and I find it concerningbthat we may be about to move ahead on the basis of a political promise rather than a fully functioning Ning nationwide capability

mynameiscalypso Tue 26-May-20 11:54:48

To be fair, test 5 is not that there won't be a second wave. It was changed to there not being a second wave which would overwhelm the NHS. Unless something unprecedented happens (compared to other countries), that's unlikely to happen given that the first wave didn't overwhelm the NHS and we have the temporary hospitals which could be stood up again.

jasjas1973 Tue 26-May-20 11:57:32

Agree OP, we have massive community infection rates, 1000s per day, other countries coming out of lockdown in Europe have these down to the 100s.

Once people start mixing more closely, we will see more hospital admissions etc and with no track and trace in place, how can we deal with local outbreaks?

I just think we are doing all this too early.

Appuskidu Tue 26-May-20 11:59:09

The government will say they are confident that the 5 tests have been met and we should have confidence in them as they always tell the truth.

Floatyboat Tue 26-May-20 11:59:11

I think other countries opening up ahead of us can give us reassurance. Nobody has had significant problems with second peak so far.

effingterrified Tue 26-May-20 12:03:45

Other countries have vastly lower case numbers and death rates.

They are not comparable.

effingterrified Tue 26-May-20 12:06:28

You're fine ending lockdown if you have a handful of cases and a robust test and trace system in place.

The UK is still having thousands of new cases a day and has NO track and trace system in place.

What is to stop these new cases spreading exponentially again once lockdown is lifted??

CherryValanc Tue 26-May-20 12:07:32

Because he's a populist.

Like him or loathe him, agree or not, you can't deny people want normal back; their life without any effect from the pandemic. That's what he's giving.

TerrapinStation Tue 26-May-20 12:12:01

Other countries have vastly lower case numbers and death rates

They are not comparable

I'm really not sure that you can say that, without an independent audit of exactly how all other countries are counting their numbers we can't form any opinion on how we compare against them.

I haven't seen that this has been done, correct me if I'm wrong, and maybe there's no need to do it but I'd be very cautious about any comparison to another country unless you are asbolutely certain that we're all counting the same thing in the same way

jasjas1973 Tue 26-May-20 12:15:31

Like him or loathe him, agree or not, you can't deny people want normal back; their life without any effect from the pandemic. That's what he's giving

Risky plan, any increases in infections will mean the NHS stops all other care or gets overwhelmed and we go into a 2nd lockdown.

He'll carry the can for that, people won't accept their part in any of it, they'll look to lay the blame.....

halcyondays Tue 26-May-20 12:17:10

Good question op. They said yesterday that the R no. was between 0.7 and 1.0. It’s supposed to be critical to keep it below 1.0 and preferably to get it as low as possible. It could easily be pushed above 1.0 in some areas due to this madness.

Quarantine for anyone coming in from abroad is a complete joke as well , it doesn’t start for weeks and if people pay a £100 fine they can avoid it.

longearedbat Tue 26-May-20 12:17:19

Weston hospital regularly closes to admissions and is often running at capacity, this has been the case for years and has little to do with coronavirus. The hospital is simply too small for its catchment area which has a large volume of people over 65.
Why are you so sure a second wave CAN happen? How do you know we haven't already has it? Personally I don't buy into this second wave theory at all.
Do you have a crystal ball op? You even call your take on this 'predictions.' However, you seem quite excited by the thought of it all going tits up.

allfalldown47 Tue 26-May-20 12:18:43

He's opening up shops to distract us from the whole Cummings disaster!

5TestsNotMet Tue 26-May-20 12:19:19

CherryValanc - not true.

Polls showed lockdown was very popular with the public, creating a problem for Johnson as policies to eg open schools were robustly opposed by parents as well as teachers and unions.

The Cummings affair has given Johnson a chance to persuade the British public that lockdown is unfair as it applies only to them.

He seems, bizarrely, to be trying to push the public to break the rules his own government imposed (albeit reluctantly).

I don't think the policy of 'herd immunity' ever went away.

It is just being pushed more discreetly now; once Johnson realised that the messaging that lots of old people would die was strangely proving unpopular.

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Bluntness100 Tue 26-May-20 12:19:21

Seems to me they have arguably met the five tests. And where as a second peak is likely to happen it may be very small and completely manageable. A second peak doesn’t need to be like the first.

Other countries have opened before us and seem to be managing fine and there death rates are not dissimilar. So for me, it’s time to crack on.

People need to take personal responsibility. You know if you’re on one of the at risk groups, so protect yourself.

halcyondays Tue 26-May-20 12:20:48

Most people outside of England seem to be pretty happy that their leaders are taking a more cautious approach. I’m in NI and they say that most people really didn’t want schools to be opening this term.

LastTrainEast Tue 26-May-20 12:21:25

I'm doubtful about letting people think it's all over, but remember that all governments are playing this by ear. We don't really know what we need to do next until we see how this part goes.

And we will not be able to pick the absolutely safest plan as that would be everyone staying at home.

I'm not even saying this government got it right. Just that no one can know for sure about the timing.

5TestsNotMet Tue 26-May-20 12:21:37


"where as a second peak is likely to happen it may be very small and completely manageable"

Again, I ask where your crystal ball is?

I don't see any realistic argument for why all those current thousands of cases should not spread once lockdown is lifted.

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