Matt Hancock will lead a coronavirus briefing today - here's when
Matt Hancock is to address the public from Downing Street on Monday (25 January) evening.
No 10 said the health secretary will lead a coronavirus press conference alongside Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries and Susan Hopkins from Public Health England.
It comes as Mr Hancock told Sky News on Sunday (24 January) that the country was a “long, long, long way” before lockdown restrictions could be lifted.
The government is also facing increased pressure over the reopening of schools.
Here’s everything you need to know about Matt Hancock’s announcement.
What time is Matt Hancock speaking?
The health secretary, who has just come out of self-isolation after being contacted by Track and Trace, will speak at 5pm on Monday 25 January from Number 10 Downing Street.
He will address the nation on live TV before taking questions from media outlets.
During the national lockdown, the government is aiming to hold around three press conferences a week to keep the public informed.
That is down from the seven daily press conferences a week during the first nationwide lockdown in March 2020.
How can I watch the briefing?
Matt Hancock’s briefing will be available to watch live on BBC News, and you can also watch it online via BBC iPlayer.
What might the health secretary say?
The government has not confirmed whether Matt Hancock will be making a new announcement, according to The Mirror.
However, the health secretary is expected to give details of the vaccine rollout and provide statistics on the number of people who have been inoculated.
It is unlikely that the briefing will address any easing of the current lockdown restrictions, as the health secretary said yesterday that it would be a “long” time before measures are relaxed.
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Hancock said while there was “early evidence” that the lockdown was bringing down the rate of infections, the NHS was still under “enormous” pressure.
He added that he was not sure whether schools will fully reopen by Easter.
The health secretary said: “We’ve got to look at the data, we’ve got to look at the impact of the vaccination programme.
“The education secretary said that he will ensure that schools have two weeks’ notice of return and I don’t know whether it will be before then.”
According to The Sunday Times, this week Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is set to rule out children going back to classrooms after the February half term.
Boris Johnson also refused to say when schools would return on Monday 25 January and did not rule out reopening classrooms full-time after Easter.
But the PM did say ministers would decide before 15 February on when schools would be going back.
Some Tory MPs, including Education Committee chief Robert Halfon, have urged the prime minister to lay out a roadmap for the return of pupils.
The government is also expected to agree plans to tighten UK borders tomorrow, with Mr Johnson holding a Covid ‘O’ committee to discuss the matter.
Ministers are reportedly considering bringing in an Australian-style hotel quarantine for some foreign travellers, amid concerns over new variants of coronavirus.