The UK Government has announced that Coronavirus briefings from Downing Street will no longer take place on a daily basis.
Tuesday’s briefing was the last ‘daily briefing’ from Downing Street on the Coronavirus pandemic, with the government saying that televised briefings will now only be made on an ‘ad hoc’ basis.
Since 16 March, daily briefings have been held by the government to help communicate messages about the government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Journalists have been able to ask questions of ministers and scientists at the briefings and as time has gone on, members of the public have also been able to submit questions of their own.
The briefings, broadcast on TV and social media, had usually featured a minister and one or two scientific or medical advisers. Ministers had increasingly been appearing on their own recently, and the government also recently stopped briefings from being held at the weekends.
The announcement of the ending of the daily briefings came after Boris Johnson announced major changes to Coronavirus restrictions in England from July 4.
When first started, watching the daily briefings became part of many people’s routines as they wished to know the latest about the pandemic and lockdown measures. Public opinion has varied on the use of the daily briefings and their format has changed slightly over time.
Some have questioned the timing for the ending of the briefings, with the UK still recovering from COVID-19 and easing restrictions. The government has said that it will still be publishing daily slides with data that would have been presented at the briefings.
Photo Credit: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street under licence (CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)