Covid: Boris Johnson gives coronavirus update as England enters lockdown

Boris Johnson is giving a coronavirus update from Downing Street this evening, after putting England into a six week lockdown.

The prime minister is speaking alongside England's Chief Medical Office Professor Chris Whitty and the government's Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.

It is likely the pair will present coronavirus data on transmission and hospital admissions, in order to justify England's new national lockdown.

ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston has more on what's expected from the briefing:

When announcing the new lockdown, the prime minister revealed some worrying statistics which showed an exponential rise in coronavirus infections in recent weeks.

The case rate in England up to December 30 was over 518 per 100k, three times the level at the start of December (151.3 on December 1).

Across the UK, there were 80,664 positive tests on December 29 and a further 65,571 on December 30.

The case rate in London up to December 30 was over 950 per 100,000, up from 166 on October 1 - a five-fold increase in three months.

Figures also showed England is in a much worse situation than it was at the height of the first wave of coronavirus.

GP Sarah Jarvis explains the strain the NHS is currently under:

The peak of admissions in the first wave was 18,974, as of April 12 - there are 40% more coronavirus patients in hospitals now.

It comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced billions in support to help businesses through the lockdown.

Firms in the retail, hospitality and leisure industries - which will be closed until mid-February at the earliest - will receive a one-off cash sum worth up to £9,000 with the amount provided depending on the value of their business.

Chris Whitty (R) and Patrick Vallance (L) will join Boris Johnson at the press conference. Credit: No 10

A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants that might be affected by the restrictions.

It is estimated the latest raft of Treasury spending will cost £4.6 billion.

Mr Johnson's TV address to the nation on Monday night was watched by 21 million people, broadcasters have revealed.