BRITS were tonight given hope of an end to the lockdown after it emerged two of the government's five key tests to lift it have apparently been passed.
The government has set five tests that need to be met before it will start easing the lockdown that has been in place since March 23.
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Addressing that at tonight's daily press conference, England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said: "The first test is around NHS capacity and we're in a good position on that one."
The second test is about a "sustained and consistent fall in daily deaths from coronavirus".
Prof Van-Tam said: "It's now very clear in the data that we are past the peak…it's absolutely going in the right direction now."
But he added: "New cases need to come down further…we have to get cases lower."
Prof Van-Tam went on: "The [third test] is solid information the rate of infection is decreasing to manageable levels across the board. This is an indicator we need to keep a close eye on over the next few days and weeks.
"The fourth one is around operational challenges on testing and personal protective equipment and being able to meet future demand. There are continuing challenges on PPE and it's a priority to continue pushing on this. On testing, we're in a very good position.
"Finally we have to be confident that the adjustments we contemplate are not going to risk a second peak of infections and this is really a matter of deep scientific discussion.
"It's one we are keeping under detailed scientific review as the days and weeks go by."
Meanwhile health bosses have urged the public to download a new contact-tracing app as part of the drive to save lives from Covid-19 and protect the NHS.
Prof Van-Tam said there was "fairly significant optimism" that people would use the app – which could be launched in mid May – as part of measures to ease the lockdown.
The app – which asks for the first part of a user's postcode – allows people to alert the NHS if they have symptoms and book a Covid-19 test.
The app tells then tells them to self-isolate while they have their test and await the results.
It also alerts anyone who has been in close proximity with the first user, telling them they should isolate for 14 days.
If the first person's test comes back negative, the app tells both them and their contacts to come out of isolation and carry on as normal.
But if their test is positive, everyone carries on isolating – with the contacts told to book their own Covid-19 test if they themselves develop symptoms.
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