Matt Hancock to lead No 10 press conference on testing at 5pm

The update will focus on mass testing and how the Government is planning to roll it out to areas in the tier three restrictions from next week.

Matt Hancock will lead tonight’s No10 press conference at 5pm with an update on mass testing – which the Government hope will let areas break free of the tightened regulations of tiers 2 and 3.

The Health Sectary will chair a conference and announce further details on how areas in Tier 3 will be able to access mass testing – as promised by Boris Johnson.

Extra cash and army support is expected to be made available to areas that need it to deliver the testing.

It came as it emerged that Mr Johnson will be forced to rely on Labour to get coronavirus restrictions through Parliament with up to 100 Conservatives unhappy about the tiers system, a Cabinet minister admitted.

George Eustice acknowledged there was “great frustration” on the Tory benches about the measures, which will see 99% of England facing major restrictions on hospitality and mixing with other households.

The Prime Minister will publish an impact assessment of the restrictions ahead of a crunch Commons vote on Tuesday in an attempt to win over would-be rebels.

Scores of Tory MPs have spoken out against the new system in England, which the Government wants to bring into force on Wednesday when the national lockdown ends.

But despite offering them another chance to vote on the restrictions early next year – meaning the measures could lapse on February 3 – several said they still have reservations.

Labour is not expected to oppose the measures, meaning Mr Johnson should get them through Parliament, but being forced to rely on decisions being made by Sir Keir Starmer will be uncomfortable for the Prime Minister.

Environment Secretary Mr Eustice told Sky News that Chief Whip Mark Spencer would be trying to win round Tory MPs ahead of the vote.