Coronavirus UK: What time is Professor Chris Whitty's press conference today?

21 September 2020, 06:37 | Updated: 21 September 2020, 11:34

Chris Whitty is expected to issue a stark warning about a resurgence of the virus
Chris Whitty is expected to issue a stark warning about a resurgence of the virus. Picture: PA

Professor Chris Whitty is due to update the nation today with a stark warning about the coronavirus pandemic.

Live updates: Whitty and Vallance warn of 50k new cases per day by mid-October

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Prof Whitty is expected to say Britain stands at a "critical point" in the fight against Covid-19.

He is expected to lay the ground for tough new controls in an urgent attempt to halt the surge in infections.

What time is the Coronavirus briefing today?

In a televised briefing on Monday at 11am, the chief medical officer for England will say the country faces a "very challenging winter", with the current trend heading in "the wrong direction".

Boris Johnson spent the weekend with senior ministers and advisers discussing what action to take as the rise in the number of new cases showed no sign of slowing.

Is Boris Johnson going to speak at the coronavirus briefing today?

No, but it is thought the Prime Minister could set out new measures in a press conference as early as Tuesday.

Prof Whitty, who will appear alongside the Government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, will explain how the virus is spreading in the UK and the potential scenarios that could unfold as winter approaches.

Prof Whitty is expected to say: "The trend in the UK is heading in the wrong direction and we are at a critical point in the pandemic.

"We are looking at the data to see how to manage the spread of the virus ahead of a very challenging winter period."

What is the latest situation in London?

London mayor Sadiq Khan is to meet with council leaders on Monday to discuss lockdown restriction measures.

Measures could include telling all London office workers to work from home again, and imposing a curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants of 10pm.

The rate of cases in London is reported to have increased in a seven day period ending early last week, from 18.8 per 100,000 people to around 25.

Mayoral sources said London's case rates were a few days behind Covid hotspots in the north-west and north-east of England, which have been placed under new controls.

A spokesperson for Mr Khan said on Sunday: "The situation is clearly worsening. Sadiq will meet council leaders tomorrow and any London-specific measures will be recommended to ministers following that.

"The mayor wants fast action as we cannot risk a delay, as happened in March. It is better for both health and business to move too early than too late."