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 also leading special briefing on Wednesday
The government’s coronavirus press conferences are set to return, according to a report.
The Times has reported that 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 alleged mixed and confusing messaging over its coronavirus restrictions in different parts of the country.
Watch: People in England face £10,000 fines for not self-isolating
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 also 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 confirmed 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.
The last time the three men appeared together at the podiums was 9 September, when 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 were a further 7,143 lab-confirmed cases in the UK, the highest daily figure since the outbreak began – though far more tests are being carried out than in the spring, when the actual rate is thought to have been much higher.
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