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GOVERNMENT news conferences have been offering the public up-to-date information on the national effort against coronavirus.
? Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates
Boris Johnson delivered his last Downing Street press briefing on May 14Credit: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street / BEEM
When is the next coronavirus announcement?
The PM or senior members of the cabinet hold the press conference from No10 and are usually accompanied by two senior health or science experts.
When did the Government’s Covid updates start?
The very first UK Downing Street Covid-19 press conference was held on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Then a week later on the March 23, the PM used the briefing to announce that the country would be going into lockdown.
Initially they were held on week days with those in attendance giving updates on the figures and insight and explanations for the government’s strategy as well as the spread of the virus.
As the crisis deepened updates at the weekend were then introduced but were dropped in May 2020, due to “significantly lower viewing figures” as the effects of the pandemic eased.
On June 23, 2020, the daily briefings were dropped after Mr Johnson announced a number of lockdown measures were easing with the daily updates replaced by ad hoc announcements which would take place when needed.
Who leads the press conferences?
The coronavirus announcements are usually held by Prime Minister Boris Johnson or a senior member of his Cabinet, such as Health Secretary Hancock or Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Johnson and Hancock have been the most regular leaders of the briefings since they returned at the start of 2021.
The Home Secretary has also led a number of updates.
The government figure is accompanied by health or science experts.
Key figures include:
- Boris Johnson
- Matt Hancock
- Priti Patel
- Grant Shapps
- Prof Chris Whitty
- Sir Patrick Vallance
What is the UK’s roadmap out of lockdown?
The Prime Minister created a four stage roadmap to take England out of lockdown.
Johnson said the new measures would “cautiously but irreversibly” take the nation out of restrictions which came into force on January 5, 2021.
In the first major easing of restrictions, non-essential shops and hairdressers reopened on April 12
From this date, Brits were permitted to enjoy a drink in pub beer gardens once again as long as they stay seated.
Rules about ordering food and a 10pm curfew from previous lockdowns did not return.
Hairdressers also reopened.
Pubs and restaurants can now offer indoor pintsCredit: Getty – Pool
May 17 marked the lifting of many indoor restrictions.
Pubs, cinemas and indoor bingo halls reopened their doors to allow customers inside and fans are able to watch live sport and music at stadiums and arenas, with social distancing.
Outdoor stadiums will be limited to 25 per cent capacity up to 10,000 fans.
Smaller outdoor events will be limited to 50 per cent capacity up to 4,000 fans and indoor events 50 per cent up to 1,000 people.
Wembley Stadium is scheduled to host the semi-finals and final of the delayed Euro 2020 in July.
The number of attendees allowed at weddings rose to 30.
Two households can go away together and stay overnight, but must try to stick to social distancing.
However a traffic light system grading countries on their level of infection danger was confirmed.
Only holidaymakers heading to green countries with good vaccine roll-outs and low Covid rates will be allowed to dodge quarantine.
Although the initial plan would see all restrictions dropped on June 21, Hancock has confirmed Brits will have to wait a little longer to find out whether Freedom Day is going ahead.
On Monday June, 7, 2021, the Health Secretary said ministers need another week to make a decision on the end of lockdown due to fears over the rising Covid-19 cases.
Hancock also announced that the NHS England Covid vaccine booking site will open to those aged between 25 and 29 from 7am Tuesday (June 8).
It comes less than two weeks after those aged 30 and over became eligble as the jabbing campaign speeds ahead.
Nearly 77 per cent of adults in the UK have now had their initial shot and more than half (52.5 per cent) have had two.
Asked about the June 21 decision, Mr Hancock said: “It is too early to make a final decision on that.
“The Prime Minister and I and the team will be looking at all of the data over this week.
“We have said that we will give people enough time ahead of the June 21 date which is pencilled in as the next step.
“And the critical thing is to see whether the four tests we have set have been met.
“That’s in terms of the number of cases, and cases are rising slightly, the number of hospitalisations, which are much more flat.
“That’s because the third test, the rollout of the vaccine, is going incredibly well.
“Then we have to look at the impact of new variants and we have seen a very significant impact of the Delta variant over the last month or so.”
It is also hoped restrictions around weddings will also be scrapped.
Boris had previously warned it is “still too soon to know what is possible” due to the risk of allowing Covid variants into the country and the date is not set in stone.
How can I watch the speeches live?
The Downing Street conference usually takes place from 5pm and is broadcast through various formats.
Viewers can watch the presser on the Sun’s official YouTube account.
In addition, our live coronavirus blog provides real time updates and reports as details emerge.
Both the BBC and Sky News also follow the action live.