Matt Hancock announcement: What time is the health secretary's speech today, Tuesday, March 2?

MATT Hancock is addressing the nation today amid criticism of the UK's border controls over mutant Brazilian Covid infections.

With worried health bosses racing to hunt down a mystery Brit infected with the rogue bug, the Health Secretary denies that quarantine delays put lives at risk.

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What time is Matt Hancock's announcement today?

Health Secretary Matt Hancock is scheduled to make a statement to the Commons from 12.30pm today, Tuesday March 2, 2021.

What is Matt Hancock expected to announce?

Mr Hancock's announcement to fellow politicians will centre on the missing mystery British traveller infected with the Brazilian Covid strain.

Residents living in five postcodes have been urged to get tested for Covid after six people were found to have been infected with the mutant bug in England and Scotland.

Officials are also searching for passengers who were on the Swiss Air flight LX318 from Sao Paulo to Heathrow, via Zurich, which landed on February 10.

But the Health Secretary has defended the Government's border arrangements following the detection of the cases of the worrying Manaus variant.

He said home quarantine measures were already in place and travel restrictions on Brazil had been imposed before the hotel policy was implemented.

Mr Hancock said yesterday: "All the evidence is that the five cases that we know about followed those quarantine rules and that, I hope, is very reassuring to people.

"There is no evidence that the sixth case did not follow those quarantine rules – we need to obviously get in contact with the person in question."

The test was taken on February 12 or 13 and "we haven't seen any further knock-on transmissions in the data".


Public Health England (PHE) has identified six UK cases of the concerning P1 variant first detected in the Brazilian city of Manaus – three in England and three in Scotland.

Three cases are Scottish residents who flew to Aberdeen from Brazil via Paris and London, who all tested positive while self-isolating.

Other passengers who were on the same flight to Aberdeen are now being traced.

The other two cases in England are from the same household in South Gloucestershire after one person returned from Brazil on February 10.

This was just days before the Government's hotel quarantine rule came into force.

Two other people in the same household have also tested positive, but they are not currently included in the UK case total of six, while tests on their type of coronavirus continue.

Dr Susan Hopkins, of PHE, said health bosses were tracking "very closely" the new Brazilian P1 coronavirus variant.

She told the March 1 press conference: "The current vaccines have not yet been studied against this variant and we will need to await further clinical and trial data to understand the vaccine effectiveness against this variant."

Dr Hopkins said they were in the process of trying to track down the one person who has yet to be identified who is believed to have taken a test on February 12 or 13.

Boris Johnson vowed yesterday that his lockdown lifting would still be "irreversible" despite the threat of the Brazil version.

How can I watch Matt Hancock's announcement?

To follow Matt Hancock's Covid announcement you can look at The Sun Online's coronavirus liveblog, which will be updated throughout today's speech.

Or, watch our YouTube channel, which is also providing live coverage.

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