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Boris Johnson to give COVID update at Downing Street today alongside Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance

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The news conference comes as multiple hospitals declare critical incidents due to staff shortages caused by coronavirus.

Samuel Osborne, Tuesday 4 January 2022 , Sky News

image.pngPress conference at 5pm UK Time 

Boris Johnson will lead a news conference today along with England's chief medical officer, Sir Chris Whitty, and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

The event at 5pm comes after multiple hospitals declared critical incidents due to staff shortages caused by coronavirus.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) told Health Secretary Sajid Javid the NHS could "ill afford" the current level of absences.

Follow live COVID updates from the UK and around the world

In a letter to Mr Javid it called for a "more cautious approach" to COVID restrictions in England "without further delay".


Meanwhile, Mr Johnson warned it would be "absolute folly" to say the pandemic was over and the public must do everything they can to help relieve the pressure on the NHS by following plan B measures.

But the Prime Minister said Omicron was "plainly milder" than other variants and that the UK was in a better position than most other countries due to the "very, very high level of vaccination".

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COVID news latest: Boris Johnson to lead Downing Street news conference at 5pm - as JCVI boss says boosters every six months 'not sustainable'

Coronavirus latest as Boris Johnson to lead 5pm news conference; multiple hospitals declare critical incidents; JCVI boss says giving booster jabs every six months is "not sustainable"; pupils in England required to wear face masks and get tested as they return to school today.


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Boris Johnson Covid announcement RECAP: PM confirms no new lockdown as we 'ride out Omicron'

Boris Johnson told the first Downing Street press conference of 2022 the NHS is on a "war footing" but that he will advise his Cabinet to stick with Plan B as he urged those who haven't already to get boosted. Boris Johnson says battle against Omicron 'is not over'

File:Boris Johnson giving a COVID-19 press conference.jpg - Wikimedia  Commons


  • Daily Covid tests announced for 100,000 critical workers to fight staffing crisis
  • Boris Johnson plans to 'ride out Omicron wave' without new Covid restrictions

By Lorraine King News Reporter and Ryan Merrifield Reporter, 4 Jan 2022. mirror.uk

Boris Johnson has ruled out a new lockdown despite the surge of cases and said Britain must "ride out Omicron" with England sticking to Plan B measures and everyone who can getting boosted.

The Prime Minister was speaking from Downing Street in the first press conference of 2022 alongside Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.

He said 100,000 workers in critical industries will be told to take daily tests to prevent mass staffing shortages as of January 10.

The highly transmissible Omicron variant has been driving record high case rates and workforce shortages, while around six hospitals have declared critical incidents due to the rise in admissions.

Daily Covid cases topped 200,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic - with 218,724 infections recorded in England and Scotland as of 9am on Tuesday.

Earlier today, No10 acknowledged the NHS faced a “difficult time” but insisted the current level of coronavirus restrictions in England was “the right course”.

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