What time is the coronavirus press conference today and what will it be about?

19 May 2021, 11:37 | Updated: 19 May 2021, 11:53

What time is the press conference this evening?
What time is the press conference this evening? Picture: PA
Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Matt Hancock will lead the press conference from Downing Street today - here's what we know about what it could be about.

Later today (Wednesday May 19), Matt Hancock will lead a press conference from Downing Street.

The Health Secretary is expected to give an update on the state of coronavirus in the country, which comes as concern about the Indian variant is increasing.

Read more: Brits warned they must wear face masks on beaches in Portugal or face £100 fines

What time is the press conference tonight?

The press conference will take place at 5pm this evening.

Matt Hancock will lead the press conference this evening
Matt Hancock will lead the press conference this evening. Picture: PA

What will the press conference be about?

Mr Hancock is expected to be giving a general coronavirus update, and he will likely discuss the Indian variant and vaccine progress.

The press conference comes after suggestions this week that the planned June 21 date of the final stage of lockdown-easing could be pushed back.

SAGE scientist Professor Neil Ferguson said in an interview today that the date is "very much in the balance". 

Read more: Everything you can and can't do from May 17 in England

When asked if it would need to be reconsidered, he said: "I think that's actively being considered. I think it's very much in the balance and the data collected in the next two to three weeks will determine that."

He did add that there was a 'glimmer of hope' that may suggest the variant's advantage has dropped a little bit.

"There's a little bit of, I would say, glimmer of hope from the recent data that whilst this variant does still appear to have a significant growth advantage, the magnitude of that advantage seems to have dropped a little bit with the most recent data, so the curves are flattening a little, but it will take more time for us to be definitive about that," Professor Ferguson added.

According to a recent report by the Telegraph, it could be as late as June 14 before we know for sure whether the planned June 21 date will go ahead.

A government source also told the Mirror: "Over the coming days and the next week or two we’ll be getting a lot of data coming in - including hospitalisations in the areas where the Indian variant is seeing a rise in cases.

"We’re learning more day by day. It really is a case of seeing what the data says. This is the roadmap working as it should."

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