Omicron: Boris Johnson announces Downing Street press conference about COVID latest news this evening

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: British prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a press conference at 10 Downing Street on December 8, 2021 in London, England. During the press conference, the Prime Minister announced that the government will implement its “Plan B” due to the rapid transmission of the Omicron variant. The work from home guidance has been reintroduced, mask wearing at public indoor venues will be enforced and mandatory COVID-19 vaccination passports will be required for entrance into crowded venues such as nightclubs. (Photo by Adrian Dennis-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson is to hold a press conference on the latest COVID situation. (Getty)

Boris Johnson will hold a Downing Street press conference at 5pm today to give an update on the Omicron variant.

The prime minister will be joined by England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and is expected to give updates on the booster campaign amid alarming new warnings about the spread of the new variant.

It is understood he will not be announcing any further coronavirus measures.

The medical director of primary care for NHS England, Dr Nikki Kanani, will also appear at the briefing.

In other developments, No 10 said it was “clearly beneficial” for the devolved nations to share information on coronavirus, ahead of a Cobra meeting to be chaired by Michael Gove on Wednesday.

Watch: Omicron numbers to become 'staggering' in the next few days, warns Dr Jenny Harries

Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty speaking at a press conference in London's Downing Street after ministers met to consider imposing new restrictions in response to rising cases and the spread of the Omicron variant. Picture date: Wednesday December 8, 2021.
Chief medical officer Chris Whitty will also be at the latest Downing Street press conference. (PA)

Downing Street confirmed the meeting with the devolved administrations and the prime minister’s official spokesman said they would discuss “the ongoing UK-wide response to the Omicron variant”.

He said: “We’ve had success throughout in sharing information and approaches and we’ll continue to do that.”

The PM's official spokesperson also said that mass vaccination centres at football grounds will open within days – with England’s national stadium and Chelsea’s ground offering jabs.

The press conference comes the day after Professor Whitty gave ministers a dire warning about the spread of Omicron across the UK.

He told ministers to expect a “significant increase in hospitalisations” as cases caused by the highly transmissible new variant continue to surge.

(Yahoo News)
(Yahoo News)

Earlier on Wednesday Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, described Omicron as “probably the most significant threat we’ve had since the start of the pandemic”.

She told MPs that the variant is currently doubling in less than two days in most regions.

Dr Harries said: “The numbers that we see on data over the next few days will be quite staggering compared to the rate of growth that we’ve seen in cases for previous variants.”

MPs voted to introduce Plan B measures, including increased mandatory mask wearing and COVID passes for mass events, on Tuesday evening.

The prime minister suffered a bruising rebellion, after 100 Tory backbenchers revolted to vote against COVID passes. The measure went through thanks to support from Labour.

Watch: How do COVID passes work in the UK and France?