The Health Secretary will address the nation later today to provide an update on the coronavirus pandemic.

Matt Hancock is set to lead a briefing at Downing Street at the usual time of 5pm alongside Government scientists and health experts.

It comes amid high hopes the lockdown road map remains on course due to low infection rates and deaths across the UK.

Here are four things the Health Secretary will likely address during this evening’s press conference:

Foreign travel

The issue of when people will be allowed to go abroad will be a key topic on the agenda today following the announcement made by Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, that the NHS app will be used prove a person’s coronavirus status when traveling abroad.

Mr Shapps has also hinted some foreign travel will be permitted by mid-May, with travel to a country dependant on its infection rate. 

Mr Shapps told Sky News: “I have to say that so far the data does continue to look good from a UK perspective, notwithstanding those concerns about where people might be travelling to and making sure we’re protected from the disease being reimported.”

Indian Covid variant

Mr Hancock will likely address the ongoing crisis in India, which is the in the midst of a second wave of infections.

The UK has offered its assistance amid concerns over oxygen supplies in the country.

But attentions also remain on the situation at home after another three cases of the newly-discovered Indian Covid variant were found in Leicester.

The city council says the cases were all linked to foreign travel and further testing in the area will be carried out to ensure there has been no community transmission.

India is now on the Government’s travel red-list but questions will no doubt be asked if more needs to be done to prevent variants from coming into the country.

Vaccine latest

The Health Secretary will be keen to back-up a new campaign launched the week encouraging people to get vaccinated.

Over 42s are now being invited to book their jab and despite a drop in the number of first doses being given each day, the Government insists it remains on course to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July.

Mr Hancock will give the latest figures on the number of vaccines delivered, as well as the number of patients in hospital with Covid and daily deaths.

When will hugging be allowed?

A Government scientific advisor has hinted hugging loved ones again could be permitted by June.

That would coincide with the full end of lockdown and possibly social distancing restrictions.

Dr Mike Tildesley, from the University of Warwick said vaccines were doing the job of preventing most people falling seriously ill, and he was hopeful hugs would be back on the agenda by the date the Government has set for lifting legal limits on social contact.

It comes as a new study from Public Health England (PHE) shows that a single dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines can slash virus transmission by up to half.

Mr Hancock may provide an update on the lockdown roadmap and whether the latest data shows the country remains on course to ease restrictions in the future.

Boris Johnson’s lockdown comments

Despite numerous denials, pressure continues to mount on the Prime Minister over claims he said ‘let the bodies pile high’ in an angry response to plans for another national lockdown.

Mr Johnson has denied the claims but numerous outlets have stood by their reports over the comments.

Concerns over how a refurbishment of Mr Johnson’s Downing Street flat has been paid for means the Prime Minister is under intense pressure this week, and Mr Hancock will no doubt be asked for his take on the allegations.