Daily press conferences held to brief general public on coronavirus
From today, prime minister Boris Johnson will deliver daily press conferences to brief the general public on the coronavirus outbreak.
Either Johnson or a senior government minister will hold a televised conference to best inform people how to protect themselves and others from the virus each day.
The introduction of daily press conferences follows critics voicing their concern as to the lack of transparency over plans to reduce the spread of the virus.
Johnson will be accompanied by Professor Christ Whitty, the chief medical adviser in the UK and Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser in the conference today.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, has disclosed that those over the age of 70 may soon be asked to stay home to protect themselves.
He said that those who are asked to stay at home would still be allowed to go for walks, but that it is “about being sensible but not mixing in crowds.”
Today’s briefing will follow an emergency Cobra meeting, in which it is expected the government will outline further responses to the virus.
The meeting will discuss “next steps” in stemming the spread of the virus, including how best to protect those who are particularly vulnerable, in addition to the banning of mass gatherings.
Schools in the UK are expected to remain open, in spite of closures in France, Spain and Ireland.
Education secretary, Gavin Williamson, is expected to meet with headteachers of schools who have made the decision to close. A number of universities have cancelled all face to face meetings, using online platforms to teach instead.
In the UK 35 people have died as a result of the virus, with 1,372 known cases of the virus across the country.