What time is Boris Johnson's press conference? And what to expect from the coronavirus tier change and schools return announcements

Boris Johnson is to hold a press conference on Wednesday at 5pm after Matt Hancock is expected to outline new tier restrictions and Gavin Williamson is set to discuss the return of schools in January this afternoon

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will lead a No 10 press conference at 5pm after several announcements on Wednesday afternoon from Conservative cabinet members.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is set to review tier restrictions after a rise in covid-19 cases across England – any changes are likely to involve areas moving up a tier rather than down.

Gavin Williamson, Secretary of Education is also due to make an announcement Wednesday afternoon about the return of schools across England in January.

Boris Johnson will address the nation in a press conference at 5pm.

When are the statements taking place and what should be expected?

What time are the announcements?

Matt Hancock is due to announce changes to tier areas in a statement to the Commons around 3pm.

Gavin Williamson is set to make a statement regarding schools around 4pm.

Boris Johnson will hold a press conference 5pm.

What should I expect?

More areas of England could be placed under tougher coronavirus restrictions when the Health Secretary outlines changes to tiers this afternoon.

Further coronavirus restrictions for some parts of England are expected in a bid to help tackle the spread of the disease which has led to “significant pressure” on the NHS.

Matt Hancock confirmed that “further action” will have to be taken as cases of the virus continue to rise.

He added that Education Secretary Gavin Williamson will also be making a statement later on Wednesday about the return of schools in England in January.

Mr Hancock said the priority is to “protect education as much as possible”.

He added: “But the new variant does make it much easier for this disease to transmit. So we are going to protect education as much as we can.”

What happened during the last statement?Following Mr Hancock’s announcement on December 23 more areas in England were put into Tier 4 as Covid-19 cases rose.

Six million more people in the east and south east of England were told they would enter tier 4 on Boxing Day.

The health secretary told the Downing Street briefing the old tier system was not enough to control the new variant of the virus.