Boris Johnson announcement: What did the PM say in his press conference today, November 9?

BORIS Johnson addressed the nation this afternoon (November 9) at a coronavirus press conference.

Flanked by Jonathan Van Tam and Brigadier Joe Fossey, here's everything you need to know.

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What did the PM announce?

Mr Johnson has made a further announcement regarding England's second lockdown.

The PM gave an update on the latest mass testing programmes.

It comes after the Government rolled out mass testing to the people of Liverpool from Friday, November 6 – offering everyone a swab whether they are showing symptoms or not.

The entire population of the city is being given regular tests to try and drive down infections in one of the worst hit areas.

Scientists say mass testing could halve the R-rate, the number of people each Covid victim goes on to infect.

Today it was confirmed that in one of the first mass tests of a coronavirus vaccine, up to 90 per cent of people were protected from the virus.

The news is a huge boost to hopes for a safe vaccine to be rolled out across the UK and around the world.

However, Boris Johnson today played down the news and told the nation not to stop social distancing and following the strict lockdown rules.

The PM told the nation this evening: "We've cleared one significant hurdle… [but] We absolutely cannot rely on this news as a solution."

Jonathan Van Tam said it was an "important scientific breakthrough" and thanked scientists and volunteers for helping.

He said: "Right now the message is stand fast rather than get too overexcited about quite where we are."

The next step will be to see whether it's safe – expected to arrive in the coming days.

Brigadier Joe Fossey, appearing beside the PM this evening, said that the mass testing being trialled in Liverpool is a "possible route out of lockdown".

If mass testing proves to work, the programme may help save the nation's Christmas – allowing people to see family and friends and knowing they are safe from it.

What did Boris say in his last speech?

Mr Johnson introduced a month of tough new nationwide Covid restrictions last week after Government scientific advisers warned that a longer and more widespread lockdown is now necessary.

Since the first national lockdown imposed in March, the PM has resisted pressure to introduce nationwide restrictions, opting instead for a localised tier system.

But strict new measures were introduced last Thursday and are set to last until December 2.

All non-essential retail were forced to close and people were told to stay mostly at home, though schools remain open.

Pubs and restaurants in England were also forced to close from midnight on Thursday, November 4, unless they serve takeaway or delivery services.

Other measures include the ban on international travel and people are not allowed to mix indoors.

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