Boris Johnson to hold Downing Street press conference at 5pm as vaccine roll-out gathers pace

Michael Howie
·2-min read
<p>Boris Johnson will appear at the briefing alongside Professor Chris Whitty Sir Patrick Vallance</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

Boris Johnson will appear at the briefing alongside Professor Chris Whitty Sir Patrick Vallance

(AFP via Getty Images)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a Downing Street briefing later this afternoon as the UK continues its battle with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Number 10 said the PM will appear alongside England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance at 5pm.

Mr Johnson this week refused to rule out even tougher lockdown restrictions as hospitals come under growing strain from rising Covid-19 cases.

However he also indicated the curbs are starting to have an impact. That message appears to be supported by latest figures revealed by the Standard on Friday that shows infections rates are now falling in 22 London boroughs.

A travel ban on South America and Portugal came into effect on Friday morning, amid concern over a highly infectious new coronavirus variant from Brazil.

A virologist has confirmed a new strain from Brazil has been detected in the UK, but it is not more concerning one that sparked the latest international travel ban.

More than 3million Covid-19 vaccines have now been administered and there are plans to accelerate jabs in London, which has until now received less than its share.

Mr Johnson has been coming under renewed pressure from Tory lockdown sceptics to set out how he will ease the restrictions on people's liberties as cases come down.

Former minister Steve Baker - who co-ordinated opposition to Theresa May's Brexit deal - suggested Mr Johnson's leadership would be "on the table" if there was not a change of direction.

He urged colleagues on the Covid Recovery Group to make their views known to the chief whip, saying: “People are telling me they are losing faith in our Conservative Party leadership because they are not standing up for our values as a party.”

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