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Boris Johnson to give coronavirus lockdown update as he leads Downing Street briefing for first time in a month

Boris Johnson returning to Number 10 after his partner gave birth (Andrew Parsons/PA)

2 min read

Boris Johnson is set to lead the daily Downing Street press conference for the first time in a month as he prepares to update the nation on the coronavirus lockdown.

The Prime Minister will chair Cabinet on Thursday morning before the Government’s scientific advisors will meet to discuss how long to keep in place the strict social distancing measures.

He will then address the nation at the televised evening briefing and will update the UK on the "fight against this disease and the steps we are taking to defeat it”, but sources have stressed no major decision is to be announced.

Mr Johnson, who became a father again on Wednesday after his fiancee Carrie Symonds gave birth to a baby boy, has not appeared from the podium inside Number 10 since he went into self-isolation with Covid-19 symptoms last month.

On Monday he returned to work after convalescing at Chequers, and gave a statement where he struck an upbeat note promising to "fire up the engines" of the economy - but also warned people not to expect the lockdown to end any time soon.

And at Wednesday’s press conference, the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been deputising for the PM, said we are still at “a delicate and dangerous moment in this crisis”. 

He explained it was vital the UK proceeds "carefully" and does not create a second wave of infections which could overwhelm the NHS.

It came after new figures put the death toll at more than 26,000 after data from care homes was added to the total.

Downing Street said Thursday's Cabinet meeting would look at the "coronavirus response in general" but is not expected to make decisions on easing lockdown measures.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) is also gathering, and will look at a selection of options for easing restrictions while keeping the spread of the coronavirus low.

The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was "far from convinced" measures could be eased on the next review date of May 7.

She told ITV: "People talk about lifting the lockdown, that is not going to be a flick of the switch moment - we're going to have to be very careful, very slow, very gradual.

"I'm far from convinced at this stage that when we get to the next review point on the 7th of May we'll be in a position to lift any of these measures right now, because the margins of manoeuvre that we're operating in right now are very, very, very tight and narrow."

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