Here's how to watch the government's daily coronavirus briefings

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 2:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 2:43 pm

Yesterday marked the first of the government’s daily televised coronavirus briefings, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlining a series of measures to combat the spread of the virus.

The daily briefings have been introduced in response to calls for improved communication from the government on their plan to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

When do the daily press briefings take place?

Monday’s press briefing took place at 5pm.

These daily press briefings will take place between 4pm and 6pm, according to Number 10

A number 10 spokesperson said that they would like to “see [the briefings held at] a consistent time.”

Who will speak at these press briefings?

Boris Johnson will chari many of the daily briefings, though cabinet ministers will also stand in for the Prime Minister on occasion.

The daily briefings will also routinely feature the Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance.

Where can I watch the press briefings?

The daily press briefings will be available to watch live on BBC News 24.

What was said at yesterday’s press briefing?

Yesterday the government ramped up its fight against the coronavirus outbreak, introducing a series of social distancing measures to slow the spread of the disease.

The Prime Minister said anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days.

He went on to set out the need for "drastic action" to tackle the "fast growth" of coronavirus.

The Prime Minister also said people should start working from home "where they possibly can".

"You should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues," he said.

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But.similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Government advice

As of the 12 March the Government has moved into the "delay" phase of its plan to tackle coronavirus. Advice is that anyone with a continuous cough or high temperature should self-isolate for seven days. People over 70 have been advised not to go on cruises and schools advised to cancel trips abroad, though schools remain open.

Should I avoid public places?

Most people who feel well can continue to go to work, school and public places and should only stay at home and self isolate if advised by a medical professional or the coronavirus service.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.