Boris Johnson to make key coronavirus announcement

Boris Johnson is set to announce an update to Britain's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic today.

It is not yet clear what the PM's update to the "road map" will be, but he is eager to get employees back to their workplaces if they are safe.

The official Government advice is still "work from home if you can", but Mr Johnson has said people should be talking to their bosses about "looking to come back to work in a safe way".

But Sir Patrick, his top scientific adviser, showed some resistance to the change on Thursday, saying working from home remained a "perfectly good option" and there was "absolutely no reason" to change the advice.

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The Prime Minister will also use a Downing Street press conference to reveal the NHS will get an extra £3 billion in funding to prepare for a possible second wave.

He is expected commit to a new target of reaching the capacity for 500,000 coronavirus tests a day by November.

The funding for the NHS in England will allow private hospital capacity to be used and for Nightingale hospitals to be maintained until the end of March.

It comes after a report commissioned by the Government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, warned there could be 120,000 hospital deaths in a "reasonable worst-case scenario".

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Max Clements

'Targeted local action'

Mr Johnson says that the national lockdown approach is now over and the government's approach has decisively shifted to 'targeted local action'.

He is speaking about the lockdown in Leicester, where measures will be relaxed next week.

Max Clements

Press conference begins

The PM's statement is now underway in Downing Street. We'll bring you the latest here via this live blog.

Max Clements

£3 billion in additional NHS spending

The PM is expected to announced an additional £3bn in funding to help the NHS prepared for a second possible wave of coronavirus.

Downing Street said that the funding will allow for extra hospital capacity while allowing routine treatments and procedures, which were all initially cancelled during the initial stages of lockdown, to continue.

The funding, which will be for the NHS in England, will allow private hospital capacity to be used and for Nightingale hospitals to be maintained until the end of March.

Max Clements

Government aiming for 'the biggest flu vaccination programme in history'

Looking ahead to the winter, the government are expected to push for "the biggest flu vaccination programme in history" to help mitigate winter pressure on the NHS if there was to be a second coronavirus spike.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has already spoken about this and the government is expected to extend eligibility for free flu jabs.

Max Clements

Enhanced local lockdown powers

Mr Johnson is expected to give councils enhanced local lockdown powers helping local authorities to impose shutdowns more quickly.

It's understood that the PM's plans will enable councils to shut pubs and restaurants without needing approval from central government.

This could also mean short notice bans on weddings and large gatherings in different areas.

Max Clements

Expected announcements on testing

Part of the Prime Minister's plan to get the country back to work will involve increasing testing capacity and a bolstering of the track and trace system.

It's thought that the government will today commit to a new target of reaching a capacity of 500,000 coronavirus tests a day by November.

Max Clements

Expected announcement on offices

Mr Johnson is expected to ditch home working advice that has been in place since lockdown was first announced back in March.

Firms are now expected to be given more freedom over implementing safety measures so they can get more workers back in offices.

But the new advice is expected to fall short of ordering people to return back to their workplace.

Instead, the announcement is expected to be a roadmap of how staff can get back to the office over the next nine months.

Max Clements

Clash between Prime Minister and Government's chief scientific advisor

Despite increasing concern over the economic fallout from lockdown, and Boris Johnson's desire to get staff back into their workplaces, the Government's chief scientific advisor told a committee of MPs that home working should stay for the moment.

Sir Patrick Vallance, yesterday told a committee of MPs that home working was one of the most effective methods for keeping people socially distanced.

He said: "It remains a perfectly good option, it's easy to do. I can see absolutely no reason to change it."

His words put him on collision course with the PM as the country faces an economic crisis.

Max Clements

Boris Johnson expected to make coronavirus update to the commons

Boris Johnson will set out plans to get millions of people back to work and prepare the country for a second wave of Covid-19 this morning, as he returns to the lectern at Downing Street.

He is expected to begin his speech at 11am and is expected to drop advice that employees should work from home where possible.

Steve Graves

What Boris Johnson could announce

A lot of what's expected today has been hinted at and briefed in advance. Here's what is expected to be on the PM's agenda.

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