Coronavirus UK: When is Boris Johnson's press conference today and what will he say?

15 February 2021, 12:35 | Updated: 15 February 2021, 13:01

Boris Johnson will helm a Downing Street press conference later
Boris Johnson will helm a Downing Street press conference later. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Boris Johnson will lead a coronavirus news conference today after the UK reached its target of giving 15 million people their first dose of a Covid vaccine by mid-February. Here is when the Prime Minister will make his announcement today.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be joined by medical advisers at 10 Downing Street at 5pm today for the latest coronavirus announcement.

Hitting the 15 million-jab milestone has paved the way for the next phase of the vaccine rollout, covering five more priority groups including the over 50s.

Mr Johnson is expected to urge people in those groups to come forward and receive the jab as the Government aims to get an offer of a vaccine to the estimated 17 million people in those groups by the end of April.

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NHS England has already sent out 1.2 million invitations to the over 65s to book an appointment, with a similar number expected to go out this week.

It comes with ministers set to begin reviewing coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England this week ahead of a statement on February 22 setting out the Mr Johnson’s "road-map" out of lockdown.

Despite pressure from some Tory MPs to push ahead amid frustration at the damage that is being done to the economy and the impact on people's lives, ministers remain more cautious.

The Prime Minister pledged today a "cautious but irreversible" approach to easing the lockdown and said no decisions have been made on whether all pupils can return to school at the same time.

When you have a large level of circulation, when you've got a lot of disease, invariably the vulnerable suffer so that's why we want to drive it right down, keep it right down," he said during a visit to Orpington Health and Wellbeing Centre in south-east London.

Meanwhile, strict new quarantine rules have come into force requiring UK nationals returning from 33 "red list" countries to isolate in a Government-designated hotel for 10 days in an attempt to prevent new strains of the virus entering the country.

Speaking today, Mr Johnson also said he has no plans to introduce so-called vaccine passports for activities like going to the pub, although such schemes could be required for foreign travel.

It comes as the latest figures show coronavirus case rates have fallen across nearly 95% of local authorities in the UK.

Of the 380 local authorities areas across the UK, only 23 (6%) have seen a week-on-week increase in case rates compared with 354 (93%) where the rates have fallen.