Boris Johnson will meet with his Cabinet this morning to review England’s Covid Plan B measures.
They will confirm what the Prime Minister already announced at Tuesday’s Downing Street press conference – no new restrictions will be introduced, despite the Omicron variant causing record case numbers.

Later this afternoon he will address Parliament on its first day back after the Christmas recess.

He will likely face some opposition, after the UK reported a record 218,724 new infections on Tuesday 4 January – though hospitalisations and deaths are yet to catch up with the spike.

The Prime Minister’s decision not to step up restrictions is in opposition to that of his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, all of which tightened rules after the festive period.

What time is Boris Johnson’s Commons statement?

First, the Prime Minister will chair a Cabinet meeting to sign off his decision to extend Plan B and not add any additional restrictions.

He will then face Sir Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions at the later time of 3pm.

This is due to Parliament only sitting from 2.30pm today, as it is the first day back of the new year.

Immediately afterwards, at 3.30pm, he will make a statement to the Commons confirming that England will continue with Plan B measures.

How can I watch live?

You can watch the Prime Minister’s statement on BBC Parliament, which you can find online via BBC iPlayer here.

There will also be coverage on Sky News, which has its own YouTube live feed.

What should we expect?

The current rules, which include face mask mandates in public indoor spaces and Covid passes for large venues and events, are set to be extended, with no additions.

Pre-departure lateral flow tests for travel to the UK are expected to be scrapped, and confirmatory PCRs will reportedly not be needed after positive lateral flows.

Mr Johnson said at Tuesday’s press conference: “As our NHS moves to a war footing, I will be recommending to cabinet that we continue with Plan B.

“We have a chance to ride out this Omicron wave without shutting down our country once again.

“We can keep our schools and our businesses open, and we can find a way to live with this virus.”

In an attempt to tackle NHS staff shortages, the Prime Minister has announced that 100,000 critical workers will be given daily lateral flow tests.

However, TUC’s general secretary Frances O’Grady said the plan does not nearly go far enough.

“This scheme will only reach one in every 100 key workers,” she said. “It’s hopelessly inadequate.”

And Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has accused the Prime Minister of complacency amid rising hospitalisations and test shortages.

“There are serious pressures on the NHS,” he said. “The Prime Minister has got to be honest with the country about those pressures and even more importantly set out how he plans to address them.”