Boris Johnson To Hold Press Conference As Third England Lockdown Looms

Boris Johnson and top scientific advisers will hold a Downing Street press conference at 4pm on Saturday amid reports he will announce new stricter rules for Christmas in England.

The prime minister is speaking to Cabinet ministers after the alarm was raised over a sharp spike in Covid infections, particularly in London and the south east. 

He will appear with chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance in a televised briefing on Saturday afternoon. 

It is reported that the recently-identified new variant of coronavirus may be more infectious and there is evidence that a third wave is building. 

Whitty said the government had alerted the World Health Organisation (WHO) over the new variant’s “rapid spread” and underlined it was “more vital than ever” the public take precautions. 

The news comes as families prepare for Christmas, with a five-day relaxation of restrictions still planned for December 23 to 27. 

Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance

Health secretary Matt Hancock said last week that the virus had doubled in the space of seven days in some parts of the south east. 

Whitty said in a statement: “As a result of the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary modelling data and rapidly rising incidence rates in the South East, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now consider that the new strain can spread more quickly.

“We have alerted the WHO and are continuing to analyse the available data to improve our understanding.

“There is no current evidence to suggest the new strain causes a higher mortality rate or that it affects vaccines and treatments although urgent work is underway to confirm this.

“Given this latest development it is now more vital than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission.” 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, has said “preventative action may be necessary” to halt the spread of the variant strain of the virus.

She tweeted: “Following a four nations Covid call earlier, I’ll chair @scotgov Cabinet meeting this afternoon to discuss emerging evidence on new variant.

“Cases currently at lower level in Scotland than UK – but preventative action may be necessary to stop faster spreading strain taking hold.”

Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford said he would chair a meeting of his cabinet later.

He tweeted: “I attended a four nation call earlier today to discuss serious concerns over the spread of a new Covid variant. I will chair a meeting of the @WelshGovernment cabinet at 2pm today.”

On Friday, the R rate jumped above the crucial number 1 and is now 1.1-1.2, having been 0.9-1 the previous week. 

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has called for the government to set out a plan. 

“This is an incredibly serious moment and people are worried. The prime minister has refused to take action to limit the virus’ spread over Christmas. All he has offered so far is confusion and indecision,” he said. 

“He must now address the nation to explain what action he will be taking.”

Get in Touch

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Gen. Mark Milley Defends Calls With China To ‘De-Escalate’ At The End Of Trump’s Presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer told Congress on Tuesday that he knew former President Donald Trump wasn’t planning to attack China...

Maryland Newspaper Gunman Gets More Than 5 Life Prison Terms

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A man who killed five people at a newspaper in Maryland was sentenced on Tuesday to more than five life...

Janet Yellen: Oct. 18 Likely Date When U.S. Debt Measures Exhausted

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is telling Congress that the Treasury Department will likely exhaust all of its “extraordinary measures” to avoid...

Get in Touch

21,989FansLike
2,506FollowersFollow

Latest Posts

Gen. Mark Milley Defends Calls With China To ‘De-Escalate’ At The End Of Trump’s Presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top U.S. military officer told Congress on Tuesday that he knew former President Donald Trump wasn’t planning to attack China...

Maryland Newspaper Gunman Gets More Than 5 Life Prison Terms

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A man who killed five people at a newspaper in Maryland was sentenced on Tuesday to more than five life...

Janet Yellen: Oct. 18 Likely Date When U.S. Debt Measures Exhausted

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is telling Congress that the Treasury Department will likely exhaust all of its “extraordinary measures” to avoid...

Missouri Medical Center To Issue Staff Panic Buttons Following Uptick In Attacks By Patients

A Missouri medical center is giving its staff members panic buttons due to a troubling increase in attacks by patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Assaults...

Pentagon Leaders To Face Congress On Afghan Pullout Decision

WASHINGTON (AP) — In their first public testimony since the U.S. completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, top Pentagon leaders will face sharp questions in...