“Extensive measures are already being put in place to ready the NHS -- both for the risk of a second peak, and to relieve winter pressures on A+E and emergency care,” said a Downing Street statement.
The funding, which will be for the NHS in England only, will be available immediately. It will allow the NHS to continue using additional private hospital capacity, and maintain the emergency field hospitals set up in the first wave of the pandemic until the end of March.
“This will provide additional capacity for Covid patients should it be needed, and allow the NHS to carry out routine treatments and procedures,” Downing Street said.
Press conference planned: Johnson will speak at a press conference later today, where he will unveil the next stage of the government's Covid-19 recovery strategy “road map." He is also expected to confirm plans to increase testing capacity to half a million tests a day by the end of October.
Thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of the British people, the virus is under control and we have eased restrictions in a cautious, phased way,” a Number 10 spokesperson said.
“But the Prime Minister is clear that now is not the time for complacency, and we must make sure our NHS is battle ready for winter.”