Coronavirus press conference delayed so PM can hold Cobra meeting as full lockdown looms

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The Prime Minister was due to provide his address to the nation at 5pm. This will now not take place, but he will make a separate appearance to the nation this evening. BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg tweeeted: “COBRA meeting is happening at (1700 GMT) so there won’t be PM press conference – but still expect to hear from Boris Johnson later 

This comes after UK health authorities announced a further 54 people had died during the past 24-hours after being infected with coronavirus, taking the death toll to 335.

The were 154 new cases, bringing this total to 5,837.

Mr Johnson is expected to enforce an Italy-style lockdown across the UK in the next 24 hours to enforce social distancing to try to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The Prime Minister may enforce the measures amid concern members of the public are not listening to the Government’s warnings.

Countdown blunder: Rachel Riley's huge mistake after replacing Carol Vorderman exposed

Boris Johnson has cancelled his daily press conference but will speak later this evening (Image: GETTY)

Countdown blunder: Rachel Riley's huge mistake after replacing Carol Vorderman exposed

The Prime Minister has warned people not to ignore the social distancing rules (Image: PA)

Under the lockdown, movements could be restricted by police.

Curfews have been imposed in Italy, Spain and France while parks and all shops have except supermarkets and pharmacies have also been closed.

Fines have also been instituted if members of the public venture out for non-essential trips.

At the weekend, pictures emerged of masses of people walking through parks and even attending markets despite the Government’s advice.

Countdown blunder: Rachel Riley's huge mistake after replacing Carol Vorderman exposed

Large numbers of people were seen close together in busy parks over the weekend (Image: PA)

The House of Commons is currently debating the Coronavirus Bill in all its stages in order to give the Government added powers to stop the outbreak of the COVID-19.

The bill will be enshrined into law later this week and will allow such measures as closing ports and airports. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned the Government was willing to take “more action” if needed to stop coronavirus from spreading, calling people ignoring social distancing advice to stay two metres apart as “very selfish”.

Shops except for pharmacies and food retailers could be ordered to shut under new strict measures being considered by all UK leaders.

Countdown blunder: Rachel Riley's huge mistake after replacing Carol Vorderman exposed

Matt Hancock warned the Government was willing to take ‘more action’ (Image: PA)

Countdown blunder: Rachel Riley's huge mistake after replacing Carol Vorderman exposed

The Health Secretary is furious at people ignoring social distancing advice (Image: PA)

Asked whether the Cabinet would be considering a firmer lockdown, Mr Hancock told BBC Radio 4: “Nothing is off the table.

“Of course we are looking at what other European countries are doing.”

When asked whether he would move to telling people not to go out at all rather than simply advise against it, the Health Secretary said: “Yes, and on Saturday I signed the order to give the police the power to be able to shut bars, restaurants and pubs if they are still open.

“This isn’t the sort of thing I ever wanted to do but it is the sort of thing as a nation we have to be prepared to see to stop this virus.

Countdown blunder: Rachel Riley's huge mistake after replacing Carol Vorderman exposed

Breeding grounds for coronavirus throughout the world (Image: EXPRESS)

“These are unpleasant and very difficult times.”

Mr Hancock also said he did not know why some people are ignoring the Government’s advice on soicial distancing.

He added: “It’s very selfish. The NHS is doing everything it can and preparing for the spread of this virus.

“If people go within two metres of others who they don’t live with then they’re helping to spread the virus – and the consequences of that costs lives and it means that, for everyone, this will go on for longer.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel joined Mr Hancock in condemning people for disobeying the Government’s social distancing advice.

She said in the House of Commons: “It is not acceptable.

“The Government could not have been clearer that in order to save lives and to protect the public during this public health emergency, it is right that we practise social distancing in the way in which the Government has outlined, the Government is reinforcing, the chief medical officer and many others are reinforcing day in, day out.

“And with that, we ask the public to take responsibility and of course there are enforcement measures now in place through an SI (statutory instrument) that was put in place over the weekend when it comes to places of social gatherings and pubs and clubs and cafes for example.”


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