Downing Street’s COVID-19 press conferences to return on weekly basis, according to report
It comes as coronavirus infections continue to accelerate in second wave of pandemic
Boris Johnson leading special briefing on Wednesday
The government’s coronavirus press conferences are set to return, according to a report.
The Times has reported the Downing Street briefings, a key feature of the first wave of the pandemic, will be reintroduced on a weekly basis.
Like the 92 daily press conferences between March and June, the new weekly briefings will reportedly be rotated between cabinet ministers, with Boris Johnson held back for “special occasions”.
It comes as the government continues to face criticism for mixed and confusing messaging regarding its coronavirus restrictions in different parts of the country.
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This culminated in Johnson’s embarrassing gaffe on Tuesday in which he completely muddled key details about the North East lockdown. He later apologised.
The prime minister will lead a special COVID-19 briefing at 5pm on Wednesday, in what looks likely to be the first of the weekly press conferences.
It comes after the UK recorded the highest number of daily coronavirus cases since the outbreak began.
Johnson will be joined at Downing Street by chief medical officer for England Prof Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance in what will be the 100th coronavirus briefing since the pandemic hit the UK.
The last time the three men appeared together at the podiums was 9 September, when Mr Johnson outlined the “rule of six” and urged people to limit their social contact “as much as possible”.
Three weeks on, however, the number of cases has risen. On Tuesday, there was a further 7,143 lab-confirmed cases in the UK. This was the highest daily figure since the outbreak began, though far more tests are being carried out than in the spring.
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