Downing Street cancels weekend press conferences due to low TV ratings

2 June 2020, 13:08

Boris Johnson will now be doing at least one a week
Boris Johnson will now be doing at least one a week. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Downing Street has announced weekend coronavirus press conferences have been cancelled due to the low TV ratings.

Boris Johnson's official spokesman said the change has been made as the government moves into a “different phase” of the battle against Covid-19.

They added: "From this week, the press conferences will be on weekdays only - so no longer on Saturdays and Sundays.

"The PM will take a press conference every week alongside... the scientific and medical experts.

"Others will be led by secretaries of state, alongside scientific and medical experts where relevant."

Asked why the change was being made, the spokesman said: "It is just a fact that the numbers who are viewing at weekends do tend to be significantly lower."

Boris Johnson will however be taking part in at least one conference a week alongside scientific experts.

But there will be no more weekend press conferences
But there will be no more weekend press conferences. Picture: PA

It comes as the government confirmed the two metre rule is remaining in place.

despite calls from MPs for the distance to be reduced.

Several MPs including former environment secretary Theresa Villiers had called for the distance to be reduced in line with some other countries' rules to save jobs and help the hospitality sector reopen.

Places such as theatres, pubs and entertainment venues could be hit hard by the current two-metre rule, which would severely restrict the number of patrons allowed inside and the staff needed.

On May 27, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had asked members of the scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) to review the guidance.

However, on Tuesday Number 10 said the Government believes the two-metre rule should remain in place.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "We continue to keep all of these matters under review but the current guidance is that the two-metre rule should remain in place."

It comes after a new study suggested physical distancing of at least one metre lowers the risk of coronavirus transmission, but distances of two metres could be more effective.

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