Coronavirus: Government scraps COVID-19 briefings at weekends due to low viewing figures

The government has scrapped its weekend coronavirus briefings, Number 10 has announced.

From this week, the news conferences fronted by a senior government minister from Downing Street will no longer take place on Saturdays or Sundays.

Number 10 said “significantly lower” viewing figures were behind the move.

However, there was a fresh commitment for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to lead at least one of the five COVID-19 briefings a week, alongside scientific and medical experts.

“From this week, the press conferences will be on weekdays only – so no longer on Saturdays and Sundays,” Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said.

“The prime minister will take a press conference every week.

“Others will be led by secretaries of state, alongside scientific and medical experts where relevant.”

Asked why the change was being made, the spokesman said: “It is just a fact that the numbers who are viewing at weekends do tend to be significantly lower.”

Last Saturday’s news conference was notable for Professor Jonathan Van Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, stressing the coronavirus lockdown rules are “clear” and “apply to all”.

He spoke in reference to the row over the prime minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings, who police said may have breached the rules.

At Sunday’s news conference, Dr Jenny Harries – Prof Van Tam’s fellow deputy chief medical officer – said she “absolutely” agreed with her colleague.

Source: Read Full Article