Boris Johnson is set to address the nation with a press conference about coronavirus this afternoon, November 15.
The prime minister will be accompanied by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty in the Downing Street briefing, which is set to take place at 3.00pm.
During the press conference, Johnson is expected to address changes to the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine booster after experts recommended extending it to people between the ages of 40 and 49, The Mirror reports.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed ministers have accepted the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), and that invites for people to receive their boosters will be going out as soon as possible.
It’s possible the increase in cases in Europe could lead to coronavirus restrictions being put in place in the UK over the Christmas period, though Johnson said today there was currently nothing ‘in the data’ to suggest it necessary to introduce restrictions such as compulsory face masks, working from home and COVID vaccine passports for crowded venues.
When asked whether he could guarantee a Christmas without restrictions, the PM said:
We don’t see anything in the data at the moment to suggest that we need to go to plan B. We’re sticking with Plan A.
But what we certainly have got to recognise is that there is a storm of infection out there in parts of Europe. You can see those numbers ticking up very sharply in some of our continental friends.
And we’ve just got to recognise that there is always a risk that a blizzard could come from the east again, as the months get colder. The best protection for our country is for everybody to come forward and get their booster.
Per The Independent, Johnson also described the extension of the booster scheme as ‘very good news’, stressing: ‘If you can get your booster, then your immunity goes right back up to 95%.’
He continued: ‘So far, we’ve got 75% of everybody over 70 getting a booster. That’s a huge number of people, but it’s that further 25% that will make all the difference to the winter, to Christmas, to our plans going forward, because it’s that extra level of protection that we really need’.
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