What did Gavin Williamson say in today’s coronavirus press conference?

EDUCATION Secretary Gavin Williamson said both primary and secondary school pupils could be returning to school in June in Saturday’s coronavirus press conference.

Here’s all you need to know about what was said.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

 Gavin Williamson is leading today's Downing Street press briefing.

Gavin Williamson is leading today’s Downing Street press briefing.

What was said at today’s press briefing?

The press conference on Saturday, May 16, was focused on the reopening of schools.

Mr Williamson said both primary and secondary school pupils could return to school in just two weeks’ time, with plans for students in Reception and Years 1, 6, 10 and 12 to return,

The Education Secretary revealed that pupils in Year 10 and Year 12 will be back “on a limited” basis to help them plan for exams next year.

He also sought to reassure parents concerned about pupils returning to school, insisting that the government’s decision-making is based on the “best scientific advice with children at the very heart of everything we do”.

And in a jab at teaching unions, he warned that there was a “consequence” to schools not opening, saying children would “miss out”.

What time was the briefing today?

The government’s daily coronavirus briefing was held at 4pm today.

The press conferences are held at Downing Street and have been taking place daily since March 16.

The briefing gives the nation the latest news in the coronavirus battle.

Who spoke at the conference?

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson chaired the briefing, alongside Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jenny Harries.

Various MPs chair the briefings on rotation, with previous speakers including Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock, home secretary Priti Patel, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, transport minister Grant Shapps and First Secretary of State, Dominic Raab.

Government officials are accompanied by health experts to answer questions from the government about the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance have been regular additions to the briefings.

How can I watch the conferences?

The press conference is shown on the BBC each day, live from Downing Street.

However, they can also be watched on the government’s official YouTube account.

In addition, our live coronavirus blog provides updates and reports on what is said during the briefing.

 The Health Secretary revealed a £600million package of help for struggling care homes during Friday's conference

The Health Secretary revealed a £600million package of help for struggling care homes during Friday’s conference

What happened at yesterday’s briefing?

Matt Hancock chaired yesterday’s briefing and said elderly care home residents and staff will finally be tested for coronavirus by the start of June.

The Health Secretary revealed a £600million fresh package of help for struggling care homes who aren’t able to control the spread of the virus.

Matt Hancock said: “We’ll test every resident and every member of staff in our elderly care homes between now and early June.

“This £600 million Infection Control Fund will help as we continue to reduce infections in care homes and save lives.”


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The briefing came after the government published the latest R number – rate of transmission – saying it was between 0.7 and 1.

However, the figures do have a two to three week lag, officials admitted.

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