POLITICS
19/07/2021 13:02 BST | Updated 19/07/2021 13:43 BST

Boris Johnson To Hold Coronavirus Press Conference

The prime minister will take questions while self-isolating at Chequers.

WPA Pool via Getty Images

Boris Johnson will hold a press conference on Monday at 5pm, as England marks the lifting of most Covid restrictions. 

The prime minister will take part virtually as he is self-isolating at his official country residence at Chequers.

Johnson will be joined from Downing Street by Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser and Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer.

The PM was pinged by NHS Test and Trace over the weekend after coming into contact with health secretary Sajid Javid, who subsequently tested positive for the virus.

Johnson had initially attempted to use an opt-out to avoid having to isolate. But he was forced into a hasty u-turn amid an angry public backlash at the idea the PM should receive special treatment.

Downing Street said that Johnson “followed the correct process” in isolating at his country residence once contacted by Test and Trace.

The PM’s official spokesperson revealed that he left No.10 at 3pm on Friday after a meeting Javid that lunchtime.

“The prime minister followed the correct process. He was contacted by NHS Test and Trace over the weekend, he has isolated and has not travelled subsequently because he did not want to travel across the country. He is asymptomatic.”

And the spokesperson hit back at suggestions that the PM had decided to isolate in his country home after learning Javid had tested positive. The PM has tested negative.

“The health and care secretary took his test on Saturday, so the correct process has been followed,” he said.

It came Labour leader Keir Starmer has said lifting all coronavirus restrictions in one go was “reckless”.

Face masks are no longer mandatory in shops and on public transport, limits on gathering have gone and the work-from-home guidance has ended.

Nightclubs – with people queuing across the country to hit the dance floors at one minute past midnight – theatres and restaurants can fully reopen while pubs are no longer restricted to table service only.

The government’s decision to ease restrictions on social distancing and mask wearing, and replace it with guidance, comes as the UK has already hit 50,000 Covid-19 cases a day.