What time is today’s, May 17, coronavirus press briefing and who is hosting it? – The Sun

ALL eyes will be on Downing Street today, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for more patience from the nation as it plots a course back to normality.

The coronavirus press briefing has been happening daily – since the UK was placed on lockdown in March.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

What time is the press briefing today?

BBC One's press coverage of Downing Street's coronavirus update is scheduled to start from 3.50pm.

These conferences have been taking place daily since March 16.

The briefing gives the nation the latest news in the coronavirus battle.

In Scotland, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman will hold a virtual coronavirus briefing at 2.30pm, with national clinical director Jason Leitch and chief nursing officer Fiona McQueen.

Who are today's speakers?

A Government official will be accompanied by health experts to answer questions from the government about the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, his deputy Dr Jenny Harries and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance have been regular additions to the briefings to date.

It's possible they will be asked about a survey which shows that only 39 per cent of Britons approve of the Government's response – down from 48 per cent a week ago.

Those saying they disapproved rose from 36 to 42 per cent, according to an Opinium survey of 2,005 adults on Wednesday and Thursday.

Plus, in a piece for the Mail on Sunday, the PM wrote today: “We can only defeat [the coronavirus] by acting together. 

“In recent weeks we have seen phenomenal bravery, compassion and selflessness as people go above and beyond to protect the lives of others.

"No earlier than June, we hope to move to step two, opening schools to more children and re-opening some shops.

"And no earlier than July, we can move to step three, opening parts of the leisure and hospitality sectors.

"Over time we can gradually get closer to a kind of normality."

How to watch it?

The press conference is shown on the BBC each day, live from Downing Street.

However, the conference can also be watched on the Government's official YouTube account.

In addition, our live coronavirus blog provides updates and reports on what is said during the briefing.

What happened during yesterday's briefing?

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson appealed to teaching unions to work with the Government to find "practical solutions" to enable schools in England to begin reopening.

At the May 16 Downing Street news conference, Mr Williamson said his "door is always open", as he warned it was the most disadvantaged pupils who would suffer the most, the longer schools remained closed.

His plea came amid fears that plans to start the phased re-opening of primary schools from next month, as part of the easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England, may be scuppered if the unions refuse to co-operate.

The MP sought to reassure parents worried about kids returning to school.

He said the government's decision-making is based on the "best scientific advice with children at the very heart of everything we do".

In a jab at unions, Mr Williamson said: "There is a consequence to this, the longer that schools are closed the more that children miss out.

"Teachers know that there are children out there that have not spoken or played with another child their own age for the last two months."

"They know there are children from difficult or very unhappy homes for whom school is the happiest moment in their week, and it's also the safest place for them to be.

"The poorest children will be the ones who fall further behind if we keep school gates closed. This phased return is in line with what other European countries are doing," he added.

It comes as he said children in reception, year 1 and 6 – as well as years 10 and 12 – can go back to school in smaller class sizes as part of a phased return.

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