Boris Johnson announcement: What time is his speech today and what will he say?

Daisy Lester
·3-min read
Mr Johnson will hold a press conference with chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty at 5pm today (AFP via Getty Images)
Mr Johnson will hold a press conference with chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty at 5pm today (AFP via Getty Images)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has summoned the Cabinet for a meeting ahead of a public announcement at 6.30pm today regarding coronavirus restrictions in the UK.

This comes amid reports that England is preparing for a full national lockdown, similar to what the country saw earlier this year in March.

Ministers have reportedly been shown forecasting by scientists of a potential surge to around 4,000 deaths per day, if immediate action is not taken.

The Cabinet has been holding an emergency meeting today, Downing Street announced earlier. Ministers are expected to be briefed by scientists following the leak of goverment plans for more stringent coronavirus restrictions.

Mr Johnson was due to hold a press conference on Monday with measures reportedly to come into force on Wednesday, however the leak has derailed these plans.

The paper circulating claims the NHS and hospitals will be overwhelmed within just three weeks.

Follow live: Boris Johnson set to announce travel ban and pub, restaurant and shop shutdown

It states they will be unable to accept any more patients by Christmas, even if Nightingale hospitals are used and all non-urgent procedures are cancelled, warning that “the window to act is now for the majority of the country.”

According to The Times, Mr Johnson held a meeting on Friday afternoon with senior cabinet ministers Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock, in which all agreed national restrictions were now necessary.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have warned that a second wave in the UK may exceed the government’s “reasonable worst-case scenario” of 85,000 deaths.

Mr Johnson will be joined during the press conference by chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.

Scientists have been calling for a second lockdown for more than six weeks, cautioning that covid was spreading significantly faster than previously thought. One government scientific advisor has said ahead of the announcement that coronavirus is “running riot” across all age groups.

Everything except essential shops and educational settings, including nurseries, schools and universities could be closed. Reports claim Mr Sunak and Mr Johnson have been in talks about how restrictions could be imposed without further damage to the economy.

Ministers have previously rejected an advised “circuit breaker” lockdown, backed by scientific advisors and the Labour Party.

Meanwhile, first minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has said a decision in England to go into a second national lockdown will have no effect on the Wales firebreak lockdown, which is due to end on 9 November.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned Scottish citizens to avoid travelling south of the border into England, “except for essential purposes.” Ms Sturgeon said she has not ruled out following England into a second lockdown.

Germany and France announced second national lockdowns this week to tackle resurgent infection rates in their countries.

In the Commons just 10 days ago, Mr Johnson called a second lockdown “the height of absurdity” which would inflict unnecessary “misery on the public.”

The announcement of potential new measures comes the same day the government's furlough scheme is due to end.

Meanwhile, the UK’s death toll has now passed 62,000.

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