What time is Sajid Javid’s Covid statement tonight and how can I watch it?

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Boris Johnson announced that plan B restrictions would be scrapped in England telling MPs that face masks will no longer be required in classrooms as early as today and that from Thursday next week mandatory certification will end.

Work from home guidance will also be scrapped from next Thursday as the under-fire prime minister assured MPs the latest ONS data showed cases were falling in almost all parts of the country – except in the northeast and southwest – and scientists judged the Omicron variant had “now peaked nationally”.

Health secretary Sajid Javid is now set to hold a press conference at Downing Street tonight to address the nation as the widespread changes come into effect from today and into next week.

No 10 has confirmed that the health secretary will discuss the changes to the restrictions from 5pm today.

The coronavirus briefing will be broadcast live on BBC News and Sky News from 5pm, with analysis and commentary likely to dominate news programmes afterwards.

You can also tune in online via BBC News on BBC iPlayer and Sky News on YouTube. The press conference will also be shared on 10 Downing Street’s social media channels.

Mr Javid will face questioning on the changes which were agreed in a Cabinet meeting this morning.

As the prime minister faces calls to resign over allegations of rule-breaking parties in No 10, Mr Johnson’s official spokesperson denied he was sending Mr Javid to host the press conference in order to avoid exposing himself to questioning from the public and press.

“The prime minister has been taking questions both in the House and from the media yesterday,” said the spokesperson.

There was no immediate announcement on whether Mr Javid would be joined by scientific and medical experts at this afternoon’s press conference.

Mr Johnson’s spokesperson told reporters that the timing of the end of self-isolation would depend on the progress of the virus on a range of different measures, such as infections, hospitalisations, serious illness and deaths.

The spokesperson said that there were signs of hospitalisations “plateauing or declining”.

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