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Wed, 23 September 2020

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Daily coronavirus press conferences scrapped by Downing Street after PM unveils easing of lockdown rules

Daily coronavirus press conferences scrapped by Downing Street after PM unveils easing of lockdown rules

The daily televised briefings are to end, Downing Street has confirmed (PA)

2 min read

Government press conferences updating the nation on the coronavirus response will no longer be held daily, Downing Street has revealed.

Off the back of a wide range of announcements by the Prime Minister on easing the lockdown, Number 10 has suggested that there is no longer the need to hold the televised briefings so often.

Boris Johnson will host an update on Tuesday to further outline the changes he announced in the Commons, such as scrapping the two-metre social distancing rule in favour of “one-metre plus” and pubs re-opening.

But after that they will be held more sporadically, called instead to “coincide with significant announcements”.

They will be used when the Government has more alterations to the restrictions to reveal or messages to relay, rather than answering questions from journalists and members of the public.

A Downing Street 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.

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

The press conferences began in late March after calls for the Government to better outline it’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and have been held seven days a week ever since, barring some Bank Holidays.

They have been used by ministers to communicate their strategy for dealing with the disease, and have allowed questions to be asked of the scientist and medics advising them.

But in recent weeks fewer members of Sage have appeared alongside the politicians, and their usefulness as the threat from the disease recedes has been questioned both inside and outside of Number 10.

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