Government announces end of daily coronavirus briefings

Boris Johnson will lead the final daily briefing at 5pm tonight alongside chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

Boris Johnson

This evening’s daily televised coronavirus briefing from Downing Street will be the last one, the government has confirmed.

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Boris Johnson will address the nation at 5pm tonight alongside chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance as he looks to further outline the relaxation of lockdown measures announced earlier today.

And a statement from Number 10 said that the televised conferences, which have been taking place throughout the pandemic, would cease to be a daily event from today – instead only occurring when there was significant announcements.

A spokesperson said, “From today, the press conferences will no longer be daily. We’ll continue to hold press conferences to coincide with significant announcements, including with the PM.

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“We will be publishing all of the data which has previously been included in the press conference slides on gov.uk every week day.”

Throughout the crisis, the conferences have been the main way in which journalists – and members of the public – have held the government to account, with Johnson and a number of his most senior cabinet ministers regularly fielding questions about the latest developments.
Earlier this month the government dropped weekend coronavirus briefings due to low viewing figures, taking the number of televised conferences down from seven a week to five.
The news that they will be dropped entirely follows Johnson’s statement to the commons in which he announced that the 2m rule will be relaxed, instead recommending that people should distance by 1m from 4th July.
He also outlined the reopening of parts of the economy, with cinemas, museums and galleries open from 4th July, while restaurants and pubs will also be allowed to begin opening their doors again.
If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide.