Coronavirus UK: What time is Boris Johnson's press conference today?

22 September 2020, 19:00

Boris Johnson is to address the nation at 8pm tonight
Boris Johnson is to address the nation at 8pm tonight. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Boris Johnson is to deliver an update to the nation later today where he will outline new restrictions for England aimed at halting a new rise in coronavirus infections.

Watch Boris Johnson's Speech LIVE here

He is expected to announce restrictions similar to those already in force in parts of North East and North West England where cases have already started to surge.

What time is Boris Johnson's speech today?

The Prime Minister is making a televised address at 8pm tonight. He will also address the House of Commons at 12.30pm following a Cobra meeting.

What measures is he expected to announce?

Mr Johnson is to ban pubs, bars and restaurants in England from staying open later than 10pm each night from this Thursday.

The hospitality sector will also be restricted to table service only.

Read more: Boris puts 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants

Read more: UK covid-19 alert level raised from 3 to 4

What else might he say?

The Prime Minister is to emphasise the need for people to follow social-distancing guidance, wear face coverings and wash their hands regularly, and - according to reports - urge people to work from home where it does not hurt businesses.

According to The Daily Telegraph, other potential measures being considered include a further delay to trials of spectators returning to professional sport events and the closure of indoor concert venues.

What is the background to the measures?

Yesterday the Government's chief scientific and medical advisers painted a grim picture of how 200 or more people in the UK could die each day by mid-November if the current rate of infection is not halted.

Sir Patrick Vallance, speaking alongside Professor Chris Whitty on Monday, said the "vast majority of the population remain susceptible" to catching coronavirus and the current situation required swift action to bring the case numbers down.

The UK's four chief medical officers then raised the Covid alert level from three to four - the second highest - indicating the "epidemic is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially".

What else is happening today?

Mr Johnson will chair meetings of Cabinet and the Cobra emergency committee - including the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - on Tuesday.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: "No-one underestimates the challenges the new measures will pose to many individuals and businesses.

"We know this won't be easy, but we must take further action to control the resurgence in cases of the virus and protect the NHS."

What has been the reaction so far?

The fresh restrictions sparked anger from the hospitality sector, with many businesses saying they will not be able to survive with these new measures in place.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, describing them as "another crushing blow" for many businesses.

"A hard close time is bad for business and bad for controlling the virus - we need to allow time for people to disperse over a longer period," she said.

"Table service has been widely adopted in some parts of the sector since reopening but it is not necessary across all businesses, such as coffee shops.

"It is hard to understand how these measures are the solution to fighting the disease when Government data shows that just 5% of infections out of the home are related to hospitality."