Boris Johnson will lead a Downing Street press conference on coronavirus on Wednesday afternoon.

The press conference will take place at 5pm and the Prime Minister will be joined by chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, No 10 has said.

Here are five things he is likely to say.

New travel rules

The Prime Minister will almost certainly address the new travel rules coming into place in the UK.

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Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions today, Mr Johnson urged Labour to get behind the latest measures.

Travellers also face charges of £1,750 to quarantine for 10 days in government-designated hotels if they return to England from 33 “red list” destinations.

Bucks Free Press: Matt Hancock announced new travel rules on Tuesday. (PA/Canva)Matt Hancock announced new travel rules on Tuesday. (PA/Canva)

Yesterday it was revealed UK and Irish residents returning from coronavirus hotspots found to be breaking new travel restrictions face fines of up to £10,000 and jail sentences.

Matt Hancock announced the new rules in commons including new fines for international arrivals who fail to take Covid-19 tests, adding those who lie on their passenger locator forms face up to 10 years in jail.

Defending the new rules in commons earlier today, Mr Johnson replied: "There are some countries in Europe which don't even have a hotel quarantine scheme such as the one we're putting in on Monday. We have amongst the toughest border regimes anywhere in the world.

"People should understand that on a normal day at this time of year you could expect about 250,000 to be arriving in this country. We've got it down to about 20,000 - 5,000 of them who are involved in bringing in vital things into this country, such as medicines and food.

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"Unless he actually wants to cut this country off from the rest of the world - which I think last week he said he didn't want to do, unless of course he's changed his mind again - I think this policy is measured, proportionate, it's getting tougher from Monday and I hope he supports it."

Vaccine concern

The Prime Minister will likely echo Professor Jonathan Van-Tam’s comments urging the BAME community to receive their Covid-19 vaccine jab.

England’s deputy chief medical officer has expressed concern about the take-up of Covid vaccines in minority ethnic groups as he condemned “nonsense” stories that circulate on social media about jab safety.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told BBC viewers during a Q&A session that the virus does not discriminate or “care about the colour of your skin”.

He said: “I have concerns that uptake in the minority ethnic groups is not going to be as rapid or as high as in the indigenous white population of the UK.

“And this really concerns me because the big message I have for everyone listening is that this virus just doesn’t care what ethnic background you’re from.

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“It just doesn’t care about the colour of your skin or where you live in the world or any of these things, it just cares that you’re a human being, that you don’t have immunity and that you’re susceptible.

“And this is really worrying, it’s a massive concern to people who are older and people who have higher risk conditions. The virus does not discriminate.”

Latest coronavirus statistics

Boris Johnson will likely provide an update on infection rates across the country and provide detail to show how the NHS is dealing with the pressure.

He could provide an update on the spread of the virus across the UK following new analysis this week that shows Covid-19 case rates have dropped to Pre-Christmas levels for all four UK nations.

While a handful of local areas across the UK have recorded a week-on-week rise in the latest figures, most of the increases are small.

The figures, calculated by the PA news agency from health agency data, suggests lockdown restrictions currently in place across the UK are having an impact in driving down the number of new reported cases of coronavirus.

Bucks Free Press: Vaccine rollout. (PA)Vaccine rollout. (PA)

New variants

Mr Johnson will likely provide an update on the spread of new variants across the UK.

New variants emerge regularly and experts are conducting frequent analysis to see which are of concern, and which are not.

There are currently four variants of concern:

  • UK/Kent variant: First detected in the UK and was first sequenced in the UK in September 2020 and called B117.
  • UK/Kent variant + E484K mutation: This variant was first detected in Bristol and is the UK variant (B117) with a genetic change also found in both the South African and Brazilian variants, E484K.
  • South African variant: First detected in South Africa and first sequenced in the UK in December 2020.
  • Brazilian variant: First detected in Japan in travellers from Brazil in January 2021 and has not been detected in the UK.

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There is a fourth – a variant under investigation – a second variant from Brazil, that has been detected in a handful of cases in the UK, but is not causing scientists serious concern.

Another variant under investigation been identified in Liverpool.

Bucks Free Press: Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK. (PA)Daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK. (PA)

New symptoms

It is likely the Prime Minister will be asked about new research from Imperial College London’s REACT study, suggesting there are new symptoms to Covid-19.

A study of more than one million people in England has revealed additional symptoms that are linked with having the coronavirus.

Chills, loss of appetite, headaches and muscle aches have been reported as symptoms.

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This is in addition to the classic symptoms – loss of sense of smell and taste, fever, and a new persistent cough.

The research is based on swab tests and questionnaires collected between June 2020 and January 2021 as part of the Imperial College London-led React study.