Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Boris to hold press conference today amid surging Covid cases

(Getty images)

Boris Johnson is to hold a press conference a 4 p.m. today with the chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser where it is expected he will announce further restrictions to try to deal with the spiralling infection rate in London and the South East of England.

The Prime Minister is chairing a cabinet call now to discuss the measures. There were also talks late last night after warnings that the new strain of the virus can spread more rapidly. Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has just issued a statement saying the government has alerted the World Health Organisation about this, explaining: ‘As a result of the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary modelling data and rapidly rising incidence rates in the South East, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now consider that the new strain can spread more quickly.’

Just days ago Boris argued it would be ‘inhuman’ to cancel Christmas and yet today he seems set to do just that

Whitty adds: ‘Given this latest development it is now more vital than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission.’

Sources have been suggesting that a new Tier 4 could be created, and the Tier 3 areas of London, the East and South East would move up to that top level of restrictions, which would be a ‘stay at home’ instruction, including on Christmas Day.

If restrictions including a travel ban are announced, this will be yet another example of Boris Johnson insisting that a decision had been taken and things were settled on an issue. Just days ago he argued it would be ‘inhuman’ to cancel Christmas and yet today he seems set to do just that for many people who were due to travel to see family.

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Isabel Hardman
Written by
Isabel Hardman
Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of The Spectator and author of Why We Get the Wrong Politicians. She also presents Radio 4’s Week in Westminster.

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