Boris Johnson is leading a Downing Street press conference later after he held crisis talks with ministers as France banned lorries carrying freight from the UK.

Some nations around the world imposed a travel ban from the UK following the new mutant strain of coronavirus which Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, admitted is now “out of control”.

Earlier, the Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the government’s Cobra civil contingencies committee amid warnings of ‘significant disruption’ around the Channel ports in Kent.

The committee has been convened to discuss the spread of the new coronavirus variant and the response of countries – including France – in banning travel from the UK.

Hauliers have been told to keep away from the area amid potential issues as the end of the Brexit transition period looms in 10 days’ time.

Meanwhile, countries including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Denmark and Ireland, have announced restrictions on UK travel after the highly infectious mutated strain of the virus is now widespread in South East England.

Mr Johnson told a news conference on Saturday that the new variant is 70 per cent more transmissible than the original strain as he put London and parts of the South East and East of England into a Tier 4 lockdown, affecting 18 million people.

Matt Hancock has admitted the new variant coronavirus is out of control and Tier 4 restrictions may have to remain in place for months.

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News – Boris Johnson speaking in Downing Street press conference today