Watch again: PM holds Covid press conference amid 'storm of infection in Europe'

15 November 2021, 13:29 | Updated: 16 November 2021, 08:32

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Boris Johnson has held a Covid-19 press conference as the UK's booster vaccine rollout is expanded.

The Prime Minister spoke alongside chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and the chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.

He addressed the nation on the UK's booster programme, after the Government accepted advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to extend it to healthy 40 to 49-year-olds.

READ MORE: PM warns of Covid 'storm clouds' over Europe as he pleads with Brits to get booster

The JCVI also said that 16 and 17-year-olds should come forward for a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab - which should be given at least 12 weeks after the first.

Earlier, Mr Johnson warned a "blizzard" of coronavirus cases coming from Europe could derail Christmas plans for Brits unless people take up the offer of booster jabs.

He told reporters there was a "storm of infection in Europe" but the top-up vaccinations offered the best form of protection for the UK.

He is still yet to announce Plan B restrictions, and is maintaining there was nothing currently in the domestic data which suggests a need to increase restrictions in England.

Under Plan B of the Government's strategy for the autumn and winter, the use of face coverings could become mandatory, vaccine passports could be required for some busy venues and people could be asked to work from home where possible.

But Mr Johnson said today: "We don't see anything in the data at the moment to suggest that we need to go to Plan B, we're sticking with Plan A.

"But what we have certainly got to recognise is there is a storm of infection out there in parts of Europe, you can see those numbers ticking up very sharply in some of our continental friends.

"And we've just got to recognise that there is always a risk that a blizzard could come from the east again, as the months get colder.

"The best protection for our country is for everybody to go forward and get their booster."

The press conference came after the PM chaired a COBRA meeting at 12.45pm following the explosion in Liverpool on Remembrance Sunday, which police today declared a terror incident.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed today a 20-year-old man has been arrested under the Terrorism Act, taking the total number of arrests to four.

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson added: "Although, the motivation for this incident is yet to be understood, given all the circumstances, it has been declared a terrorist incident and Counter Terrorism Policing are continuing with the investigation."