Health Secretary Matt Hancock will lead a Downing Street press conference today.

It comes as case rates for Covid rise across the country and the vaccination project continues to roll out – with people aged 42 and over now being invited to get a jab.

There are also hopes foreign travel could soon be allowed, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying today that the NHS app is being converted into a travel passport.

But internationally Covid is continuing to spread rapidly – with major problems in countries including India.

Mr Hancock will give an update on the coronavirus situation as the latest figures show the number of new Covid cases is rising in more than half of England’s towns and cities.

Despite a sharp fall in infection rates, analysis of Public Health England data shows that 163 of England’s 315 local authority areas have seen a week-on-week rise in new cases.

But a new PHE study offered hope as it found that a single dose of the Covid jab could cut transmission by up to half.

The research found that people given a single dose of either the Pfizer or Oxford vaccines – and who became infected at least three weeks later – were between 38% and 49% less likely to pass the virus on to people living in their homes.

One in four UK adults are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, after a record number of second doses were delivered in the past week.

The briefing is expected at 5pm.

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