Health secretary to address nation this afternoon

Health secretary Matt Hancock said hospitals' debt would be written off. Picture: Pippa Fowles/Crown

Health secretary Matt Hancock said hospitals' debt would be written off. Picture: Pippa Fowles/Crown/Downing Street/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Health secretary Matt Hancock will host a Downing Street briefing at 3pm today.

Mr Hancock will lead a briefing alongside deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries and Dr Susan Hopkins of Public Health England.

It follows a meeting of the government's Covid operation committee today, at which the new variant of the virus was discussed.

This morning, communities secretary Robert Jenrick warned "further measures" may be needed to contain the spread of the new virus, with cases on the rise across the nation.

And it has been widely speculated that Norfolk may be one of the places to move into a higher tier, with Louise Smith, the county's director of public health strongly hinting at this earlier in the week.

She said: "Looking at the trends, the case rate is rising more rapidly and my expectation is that in the next week or so, the numbers will keep going up.

"When we came out of lockdown, they had levelled out, but over the past few days, we have seen a steep change.


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"I think that is a significant concern and it suggests the current Tier 2 restrictions are not containing and controlling the virus."

More will follow.

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