What time is Boris Johnson making his Covid-19 announcement today

Boris Johnson is set to address the nation from Downing Street at 5pm today, according to reports.

The PM is expected to outline plans for easing restrictions on international travel, possibly paving the way for overseas holidays later this year.

It has been reported the PM will announce a “traffic light” system for rating overseas destinations, lowering controls on journeys to those countries assessed as being at the lowest risk.

Officials stressed travel would not begin before May 17 at the earliest and that it was still too soon to predict which countries would be cleared.

The advice remains that people should wait for the full report of the Government’s global travel task force due on April 12 before booking a holiday.

It comes as many European countries are imposing new lockdown restrictions as a third wave of the pandemic spreads across the continent.

Under the traffic light system, assessments will be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a country’s population which has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

Travellers arriving from countries rated “green” will not be required to isolate although pre-departure and post-arrival tests will still be needed.

For those classed as “amber” or “red”, the restrictions will remain as they are with arrivals required to isolate or enter quarantine.

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Shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves said Labour had “many reservations” about the use of vaccine passports in the UK.

The senior Opposition MP told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “I have reservations, the Labour Party has reservations around the introduction of vaccine passports.

“We have an amazing take-up of the vaccine, it is being rolled out incredibly successfully by the NHS – it is not totally clear to me that we need a sledgehammer to crack a nut here.

“The big priority has got to be ensuring that everybody is vaccinated so we can get back as quickly as possible to the things we love doing, whether that is going to the pub, the restaurant, the football match or the concert.

“The priority should be ensuring that the vaccine is rolled out, that we have a Test and Trace (system) that works properly but the Government does not have a great track record in introducing new IT systems and what we don’t want to see is more taxpayers’ money wasted, more bureaucracy and red tape for businesses who have already gone through an incredibly tough year.

“So we will see what the Government bring forward and their rationale for it – we’ll keep an open mind but at the moment we have many reservations around what the Government looks like it might be suggesting.”

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