Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced the coronavirus review period will be extended from every three weeks to every month, as ministers assess whether the easing of lockdown restrictions is causing the disease to spread.
In a written statement, Mr Hancock said that the change was necessary to ensure ministers make future decisions “at the right time”.
On Monday people in England were allowed to meet up to five other people, outside their house, for the first time since March.
Open air markets and car showrooms were also allowed to re-open, while schools across England were allowed to admit more primary age pupils, although many parents continued to keep their children at home.
Mr Hancock wrote: “To ensure that we are making future decisions about the lockdown at the right time, the maximum review period will change from 21 days to 28 days.
“This will allow decisions to align more closely with the period of time necessary to assess the impact of previous changes on key data feeds, including the R rate.”
Scientists have warned that keeping control of the R rate, the rate at which the disease spreads is crucial.
The R rate is currently believed to be below 1, but experts warn that has to remain the case to prevent another peak in the pandemic.
Mr Hancock added that the government would “also keep all the measures under continual review and will account to Parliament on an ongoing basis”.
The lockdown rules still in place “remain strict measures”, Mr Hancock said, “but they are measures that we must take in order to protect our NHS and to save lives.”