Boris Johnson to hold Downing Street press conference at 5pm today

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Boris Johnson is set to host the Downing Street press conference today at 5pm.

The Prime Minister is expected to talk about the coronavirus vaccine programme but he is also set to warn Brits it is too early to relax as speculation mounts that England's lockdown will stretch into the summer.

A Downing Street official said the Prime Minister will insist "there's still a way to go" and urge Brits not to break the rules.

They said: "This has been a very bleak week and we need everybody to keep sticking to the rules and helping to protect hospitals, which are under the most tremendous pressure.

"We aren't yet seeing the sharp fall in infections that we had last April and May and we need to keep going."

It came as another 1,290 UK deaths were reported on Thursday, bringing the shocking total to 94,580. There were another 37,892 new cases recorded.

Ministers have refused to say whether schools will fully reopen before Easter and warned it was too early to book a summer holiday, admitting they could not say when restrictions will end.

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More than two million people have now been given their first jab and the vaccination programme is expected to be on the agenda.

Today Environment Secretary George Eustice claimed life can return "closer to normal" in "late Spring, early Summer".

The government has also considered the full closure of the UK border amid fears over new Covid-19 variants being imported from abroad.

Mr Eustice said: "We always keep things under review and it's been considered.

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"There is concern at the moment at number of mutant strains that there are – different strains of this coronavirus are cropping up in other countries.

"There are concerns that there is a risk that one day there will be a strain that might be able to evade the vaccine.

"Personally I wouldn't like to see all borders closed, I'd like us to get past this pandemic and get the vaccine rolled out and be able to start opening things again rather than closing things.

"But we can't rule anything out but, for now, the restrictions we have in place – with that requirement for quarantine and the requirement for a pre-travel test – we think that is sufficient and the right and appropriate measure for now."

The government closed all travel corridors, meaning people entering fro abroad have to quarantine and show proof of a negative Covid test up to 72 hours before their journey.

But Mr Johnson is under pressure to go even further and close Britain's borders to foreigners completely.

  • Boris Johnson
  • In the News
  • Coronavirus
  • Lockdown

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