Key points expected from Boris Johnson’s Downing Street Omicron press conference today

Boris Johnson is set to give a Downing Street press conference this afternoon as new measures are introduced to curb the spread of the new Omicron variant of Covid 19.

The Prime Minister is expected to speak about the new face mask rules which came into effect at 4am today and the rollout of the booster programme. .

Mr Johnson will urge people to get their booster vaccines after Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on Monday that the the rollout was being extended to all over-18s and the gap between second and third doses halved to three months.

Read More Related Articles Latest Omicron covid rules and what they mean for business

He will also likely speak about new travel rules which force all arrivals to take a Day 2 PCR test and isolate until it comes back negative.

The exact time of the press conference has not been published yet.

It is likely to come after the debate and 4pm vote in the Commons on the Covid-19 regulations.

The Prime Minister has also not yet enacted all of England’s ‘Plan B’ measures, leaving vaccine passports for nightclubs and stadiums in reserve.

And the government has not advised people in England to work from home where possible, despite advice of that kind in Scotland.

Dr Jenny Harries, head of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said there is a current period “of great uncertainty” in understanding the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.

If you want more stories like this…

You can sign up to our daily e-bulletins of business news or our weekly round-up of the best articles in key sectors. Sign up here

She told BBC Breakfast the booster dose of vaccine will “we hope, to some extent, counter the potential drop in vaccine effectiveness we might find with this variant”.

Asked whether the UK will see a return to work from home guidance, she said: “The whole point about the booster programme and the introduction of mandatory face mask-wearing in enclosed public spaces is exactly to try and avoid that because we’ve made huge progress, we have great defences and, in the background, the dominant strain in the UK at the moment is very definitely Delta.

“So these vaccines will help that, it will keep serious infection, serious disease and hospitalisations at bay, but we do need this time to try and understand the new variant, and we would much prefer that we have that precautionary approach and then take appropriate actions.”

But the PM’s spokesman did not rule out tighter travel rules, or tighter rules after the new restrictions are reviewed in three weeks’ time.

No10 said Boris Johnson was not “planning” to adopt the plea for eight days’ isolation, but did not rule it out, saying the response would be kept under review.

Read More Related Articles Shares in Covid-19 testing kit maker rocket amid Omicron variant uncertainty Read More Related Articles AstraZeneca to plant more than one million trees in the UK by 2025