Lockdown easing: What time is Boris Johnson's announcement today?

14 June 2021, 08:31 | Updated: 14 June 2021, 13:07

Boris Johnson will lead Monday's Downing Street press conference as he addresses the nation on the next step of lockdown easing..
Boris Johnson will lead Monday's Downing Street press conference as he addresses the nation on the next step of lockdown easing.. Picture: PA

By Joe Cook

Boris Johnson will address the nation at a Downing Street press conference later today as he makes a key announcement on changes to England's lockdown rules from 21 June.

According to the lockdown roadmap, Monday 21 June, is the earliest point at which the government could remove all legal limits on social contact.

In what has been dubbed by many as "Freedom Day", restrictions on nightclubs, large events and weddings are expected to be removed at this stage.

Downing Street has confirmed the press conference will take place at 6pm on Monday evening. The Prime Minister will be joined by England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and the Government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance

The prime minister's announcement comes amidst concern over the spread of the Delta Covid-19 variant first found in India.

Ahead of the address to the nation he is expected to meet with ministers to sign off on any decision about lockdown easing.

Explained: What is the next stage of lockdown easing?

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What time is Boris Johnson's announcement?

The prime minister is expected to begin the press conference at 6pm today.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance are expected to flank the PM and will outline the data behind any decision.

Read more: England's coronavirus R number rises to between 1.2 and 1.4

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Concern over Delta variant

Boris Johnson's announcement today comes amidst concerns over the spread of the Delta variant, which is thought to be around 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant first found in Kent.

In their latest figures Public Health England estimated that the Delta variant accounts for 96 percent of all new cases of Covid-19 in the UK, with case numbers doubling every four-and-a-half days in some parts of England.

Read more: Covid ceiling alarm developed 'to detect virus in a room within 15 minutes'

The PM on Saturday described the spread of the variant as a matter of "serious, serious concern", conceding he was less optimistic than he was at the end of May.

"What we want to do is make sure that the road map is irreversible, but you can't have an irreversible road map unless you're prepared to be cautious," he told reporters at the G7.

"Some of the data is still open to question, but we'll be making an announcement on Monday."