Boris Johnson to hold 5pm press conference as UK continues Covid vaccine roll-out

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Barney Davis
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold a Downing Street briefing later this afternoon as the UK continues its battle with the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Downing Street official told Playbook that the PM will insist “there’s still a way to go” and continue to urge people to stick to the rules with deaths hitting a record 1,820 deaths earlier this week.

The Prime Minister is expecting to provide an update on the vaccine rollout after revealing that two million people have been vaccinated in the last week alone.

Mr Johnson has been under pressure from Tory backbenchers to reveal a date that the national lockdown could be lifted but has maintained “it’s too early” to say.

His comments came as Professor Paul Elliott, who is leading the React study at Imperial College London, suggested the current measures may not be strict enough to see a drop in infections and the reproductive rate – the R.

Mr Johnson told reporters on Thursday: “I think it’s too early to say when we’ll be able to lift some of the restrictions.”

He said: “We're looking at that February 15 deadline, as you know, for the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advisory body) groups one to four - the elderly, the vulnerable groups that we want to vaccinate first, that 15 million people across the UK that we want to have been offered a vaccination slot by 15 February."

New plans under consideration by ministers are to have everyone who tests positive for Covid in England given £500.

The aim of proposals, which would reportedly cost up to £450million a week, would be to encourage more people to take tests and self-isolate.

Such a plan is said to be the “preferred position” of Matt Hancock's Department of Health, according to reports on Thursday night.

The £500 payment would apply irrespective of people’s age, employment status or ability to work from home.

Read More

£500 ‘positive test payment’ considered as lockdown exit calls mount

Life could be ‘much closer to normal by late spring’ if jab target met

London cases fall amid signs Covid hospital admissions may have peaked