Boris Johnson will make a coronavirus announcement today - here's when and how to watch

Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 10:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 10:01 am
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (C), Britain's Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty (L) and Britain's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance (R) attend a virtual press conference at Downing Street on September 9 (Photo: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Boris Johnson will once again address the British public today (30 September) as the number of coronavirus cases recorded in the UK continues to rise.

The Prime Minister's address will mark the 100th such briefing since Covid-19's outbreak, and comes a day after the country logged 7,143 new cases - the highest number of the pandemic so far.

Mr Johnson will be flanked by Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, who last joined the PM at the podiums for his "rule of six" announcement earlier in September.

Here's everything you need to know.

When will Boris be speaking?

Today's briefing will take place after the weekly edition of Prime Minister's Questions, which kicks off at 12pm.

It will commence at 5pm, and will be available to watch live on BBC News and Sky News.

Will more lockdown measures be announced?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a virtual press conference at Downing Street on September 9 (Photo: Stefan Rousseau- WPA Pool/Getty Images)

While the media briefings from Downing Street were once a daily occurrence, since June such events have been used sparingly and only to coincide with "significant announcements”.

With the number of positive coronavirus cases in the UK continuing to climb, could the Prime Minister announce more restrictions on daily life in an effort to curb the virus, just weeks after he introduced the so-called "rule of six"?

According to the Prime Minister’s official spokesman, the purpose of the briefing is to "provide an update on the latest statistics".

The briefing is reportedly not being held because "there is some specific set of new announcements to make.”

According to Politico’s London Playbook, Johnson is not expected to announce any immediate nationwide restrictions at this afternoon’s press conference, and it is expected instead that the PM will deliver a “stock take” on the current situation.

They do report that Johnson could use today’s briefing to sow the seeds for further measures that could be implemented “in the next week” if cases continue to spike.

What might Boris say?

It could simply be that the Prime Minister is hoping to use the briefing to clear up recent confusion around new lockdown rules imposed in many parts of the country, and clarify the public health message being delivered to the nation.

Johnson himself is arguably to blame for that confusion, and was forced to apologise after he “misspoke” when talking about new lockdown laws in the North East on 29 September.

The PM was asked to issue some further detail about whether people will still be allowed to meet in pub beer gardens following confusion over the rules.

In reply, he said: “In the North East and other areas where extra-tight measures have been brought in, you should follow the guidance of local authorities but it is six in a home, six in hospitality but as I understand it, not six outside.”

He later took to Twitter to say: “Apologies, I misspoke today.

“In the North East, new rules mean you cannot meet people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and your home. You should also avoid socialising with other households outside."

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner branded the PM “grossly incompetent” after he failed to clarify the rules in north-east England, and local leaders have criticised the Government for not giving sufficient advance notice of new restrictions.