What time is Boris Johnson’s announcement today? When to watch PM’s next Covid press conference speech
The Prime Minister is expected to confirm whether England’s 19 July ‘Freedom Day’ will go ahead during his latest update
The Prime Minister will address the English public and press on Monday afternoon (12 July) ahead of the planned easing of almost all Covid lockdown rules next week.
It comes amid rapidly rising infection rates in the UK, driven by the more transmissible Delta variant.
The planned relaxation of measures later this month will only apply in England, with the other three nations navigating their own way out of lockdown.
So, what time is Boris Johnson’s update, how can you watch - and what might he say?
Here’s what you need to know.
When is Boris Johnson’s announcement today?
The Prime Minister is expected to make his announcement on Monday 12 July.
He is scheduled to hold his press conference from Downing Street in the afternoon at 5pm.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Sajid Javid will outline the lockdown lifting plans in Parliament.
How can I watch the Prime Minister’s speech?
What is Boris Johnson expected to say?
Mr Johnson is understood to be preparing to confirm that England will move to Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown, after the original Freedom Day was delayed by four weeks.
If measures are lifted on 19 July, that means limits on social contact will be scrapped, remaining businesses - like nightclubs - will be able to re-open, people will be able to return to offices and there will no longer be a legal requirement to wear face masks.
However, the Prime Minister will also warn that infections will rise as Covid rules are lifted.
“We are tantalisingly close to the final milestone in our road map out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning,” he said.
“While the phenomenal vaccine rollout has offered every adult some protection against the virus, and the crucial link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths is weakened, the global pandemic is not over yet.
“Cases will rise as we unlock, so as we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear.
“Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility so we don’t undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect our NHS.”
Downing Street previously said Freedom Day would only go ahead if four tests were met, including the success of the vaccine rollout, evidence that the vaccine is causing a reduction in hospitalisations and deaths, infection rates not risking a surge in hospital admissions, and no new variants of concern throwing progress off track.
Will there be an announcement for Scotland?
Scotland’s approach to Covid restrictions has been different to England’s throughout the pandemic.
All remaining legal restrictions north of the border are currently set to be lifted on 9 August, following a move to Level 0 on 19 July.
But the Scottish Government has already said there will be an "ongoing need" for face coverings on public transport and in shops, while also urging caution due to the prevalence of the Delta variant and rising infection rates in the country.
Nicola Sturgeon’s next scheduled update to Holyrood is for Tuesday 13 July.
She is expected to outline whether the country will move down to Level 0 next week, and subsequently whether more restrictions will be lifted on 9 August.
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