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Boris Johnson will hold a TV press conference at 5pm today as the number of people testing positive for the Omicron Covid variant is continuing to rise in the run up to Christmas.

The PM will be joined by chief medical officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, a tweet from Downing Street confirmed.

The medical director of primary care for NHS England, Dr Nikki Kanani, will also appear at the briefing.

It comes as from today the measures as part of 'Plan B' will come into force in England – despite a massive revolt by Tory MPs on Tuesday evening.

As part of the new rules, it is now mandatory for nightclubs and big venues to check the Covid status of guests who are above the age of 18.

This means that visitors will have to prove that they are either fully vaccinated or have had a recent negative Covid-19 test result before they step inside nightclubs and large venues such as sporting arenas.

Reports suggest that thousands of people up and down the country decided to get in some last minute festive partying on Tuesday night before the new restrictions kicked in.

Masks have now also been made mandatory inside the majority of indoor settings except from pubs and restaurants.

This news comes following the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid's, announcement on Monday that an estimated 200,000 had been infected with the new variant on that day alone.

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Monday also saw the UK's first Omicron related death, with Mr Johnson saying the new variant was resulting in hospital admissions and the "best thing" people could do was get their booster jab.

The news comes as Mr Johnson faces intense pressure on his leadership after his party dealt him his biggest rebellion since he became Prime Minister two-and-a-half years ago.

The PM will be hoping the dissatisfaction among his MPs – which saw nearly 100 backbenchers defy the party whip to vote against the Government on Tuesday – is not felt more widely, as the Conservatives battle to keep the seat of North Shropshire in a key by-election on Thursday.

It comes after nearly a third of his MPs voted against the introduction of mandatory Covid passes in nightclubs and large venues, with many saying they were unhappy about the way Mr Johnson was leading the country and his party.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the 1922 Committee, said that a leadership challenge has “got to be on the cards” for Mr Johnson in the new year if he did not change the way he worked with his MPs.

  • Boris Johnson
  • Coronavirus
  • Omicron
  • Christmas
  • Covid vaccine

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