What happened in the government coronavirus press conference today?

CABINET Minister Michael Gove stood in for Boris Johnson and chaired today’s daily press briefing on the fight against coronavirus alongside deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries.

The daily press briefings were introduced in response to calls for improved communication from the government on how they plan to tackle the pandemic which has spread like wildfire across the globe.

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What time was the press conference today?

Today’s press conference began at 5pm and was broadcast live by the BBC.

It is normally held in Downing Street between 4pm and 6pm and lasts 15 to 30 minutes.

The briefings have been ongoing since March 16.

Who hosted today’s briefing and what was discussed?

Today’s briefing was hosted by Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove and deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries.

MPs from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport met with charities earlier today.

Who hosted yesterday’s briefing and what happened?

Yesterday’s briefing was held by Dominic Raab and chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance and focused on repatriating Brits stuck abroad.

Raab said there are an unprecedented number of Brits abroad trying to get home.

Up to a million Brits are thought to be stranded abroad as airlines and borders shut down across the globe to help combat the spread of Covid-19.

The UK are set to spend £75 million on charter flights to bring them home when there are no other routes available.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for Trade have signed a memorandum of understanding with Virgin, EasyJet, Jet 2 and Titan Airways to help travellers reach home where they have tickets and where commercial flights are still available.

British Airways have also made a commitment.

Travellers will be able to use different flight carriers or fly on different days in order to get home.

If there is no commercial option, the FCO will use travel management company CTM to organise charter flights.

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How can I watch the daily coronavirus press briefings?

You can watch the government’s daily press briefings using a live stream on our YouTube channel.

You can also follow live updates on the conference and the coronavirus in the UK through our live blog.

On TV, the press conferences are broadcast live on BBC News.

Why is the government holding daily briefings?

Boris Johnson and his senior cabinet ministers had been criticised for a lack of regular updates into what is happening with the coronavirus outbreak.

Among them was Sir Keir Starmer – a candidate to become the next Labour leader – who called for daily press conferences.

The Shadow Secretary said he was “deeply concerned” that “ministers have been failing in their responsibilities to provide consistent and transparent public health advice”.

 The conferences are usually held by senior cabinet MP's and medical officials
The conferences are usually held by senior cabinet MP’s and medical officialsCredit: AP:Associated Press

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