It will follow an emergency Cobra meeting after France closed its borders to trucks travelling to and from the UK

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The PM will appear in Downing Street joined by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Chief Scientific Advisor Patrick Vallance.

Mr Johnson is chairing an emergency meeting of the COBRA committee, after France closed its borders to the UK following the identification of a mutant strain of the virus.

Overnight France shut its border to arrivals of people and trucks from the United Kingdom, closing off one of the most important trade arteries with mainland Europe.

Boris Johnson has resisted calls to bring MPs back from their Christmas break, which began on Thursday – and Number 10 said again today that any recall would only be to pass a new Brexit deal.

Earlier, Labour leader Keir Starmer called on the PM to address the nation over the unfolding crisis today.

Mr Starmer said: “The news over the last 24 hours has been deeply disturbing. The number of coronavirus cases has nearly doubled in the last week.

“Over 67,000 people have now tragically died and hospital admissions are rising. We cannot be in any doubt – the virus is now out of control.”

Citing international borders closing and “severe disruption” at Britain’s ports, he said: “Make no mistake this is now a real emergency.”

He called on the Government to step up, saying: “We can have no more over-promising and false hope, confused messages and slow decision-making. We need strong, clear and decisive leadership.

“The Prime Minister needs to be straight with people about precisely what is going on and precisely what he is doing about it.

“He must address the nation today after this morning’s Cobra meeting and hold daily press conferences until the disruption has eased.”


News – Boris Johnson to hold press conference at 5pm over growing Covid-19 crisis