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Coronavirus press briefings have become an unlikely part of life since the pandemic took hold in the UK in March 2020. Once a near-daily occurrence, press briefings hosted by the Prime Minister these days are rarer, with Boris Johnson usually leaving briefings to other senior cabinet ministers.
The first Downing Street Covid-19 press conference was held on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Mr Johnson appeared for the first time with England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, and the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, who have since become unlikely household names.
The Prime Minister usually gives them helm to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, alongside other experts such as Jonathan Van Tam.
Boris Johnson delivered his last Downing Street press briefing on Tuesday, April 20, 2021.
When is Boris Johnson’s next Covid announcement?
A schedule for coronavirus announcements is not usually released until the day a briefing is due to take place.
Currently, it is not yet known when Mr Johnson will next take to the podium.
However, the next announcement is likely to outline details about the resumption of international travel, due to take place on May 17.
When the announcement takes place, you can watch it on BBC News, Sky News and other live news broadcasts.
Announcements usually take place at 5pm or thereabouts.
Press briefings take place from the Government’s new £2.6 million briefing room, a brainchild of former advisor Dominic Cummings.
The briefing room formed part of a plan to hold regular US-style press conferences from the room several times a week.
Former political journalist Allegra Stratton was hired to front the briefings, but these plans have since been scrapped.
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The last coronavirus press conference was given by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
He confirmed the UK has purchased an additional 60 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The Health Secretary said: “Our vaccination programme is bringing back our freedom, but the biggest risk to that progress is the risk posed by a new variant.
“We’re working on our plans for booster shots, which are the best way to keep us safe and free while we get this disease under control across the whole world.
“These further 60 million doses will be used, alongside others, as part of our booster programme from later this year, so we can protect the progress that we’ve all made.”
The Health Secretary also confirmed the UK Government would be sending aid to India as the coronavirus situation worsens each day amid the nation’s second wave.
He said: “We’ve all seen the harrowing pictures of what’s happening in India, and it pains each one of those who have seen those scenes, not least because the ties between our countries are so strong.”
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