Boris Johnson announces press conference at 5pm: What the Prime Minister is expected to say

Boris Johnson will hold a Downing Street press conference at 5pm, a year on from the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 2:19 pm

A national minute's silence was held at midday to remember the victims of coronavirus as part of a national day of reflection organised by the end-of-life charity Marie Curie.

Today, March 23, marks a year since the Prime Minster announced tough restrictions on people's lives aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Johnson, who observed the silence privately, praised the "great spirit" shown by the UK since the first lockdown and offered his “sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones” during the pandemic.

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Boris Johnson will hold a conference at Downing Street today as the UK marks the anniversary of the first national lockdown (Photo by Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson will hold a conference at Downing Street today as the UK marks the anniversary of the first national lockdown (Photo by Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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But, as the UK’s official death toll passes 126,172, he has warned a third wave of Covid-19 cases being seen in France and Italy could “wash up on our shores as well”.

On Monday, the Health Minister Lord Bethell raised the prospect of having to “red-list all of our European neighbours”.

But Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who recently spoke to his Spanish counterpart about whether travel could resume safely, said there are currently “no plans” to put the entire continent on the list that currently requires mandatory hotel quarantine for 10 days.

“We don’t have any plans to do that,” he told LBC.

“We do have this red list and the amber list, and at the moment that is working well, so we don’t have plans to do that.”

Mr Hancock said the ban on leaving the UK without a reasonable excuse, included in new coronavirus laws coming into force next week, had not changed the road map plans to resume international travel.

He has insisted that current border measures are protecting the UK from new variants coming from abroad

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he added: “The question is whether we’ll be able to release any of these measures over the summer.

“I entirely understand people’s yearning to get away and have a summer holiday, and we’re looking at that question right now as part of the global travel taskforce, which will report in the middle of next month.

“The earliest that will take any steps will be May 17 but, obviously, we’re taking a cautious approach because we want any openings that we make to be irreversible.”

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