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

It comes as cases of the Indian variant were detected across Essex. 

There have been confirmed cases in Chelmsford and Colchester with a number of suspected cases in Southend

The B1617.2 strain was designated as a “variant of concern” on May 7, but experts had been investigating it before then.

The highly transmissible B1617.2 strain is now the dominant coronavirus in Bolton and Blackburn and its spread has threatened to throw England’s route out of lockdown off course.

Mr Hancock is expected to give an update in relation to the strain and also the UK's travel restrictions. 

The Government facing calls for clarity over its position in relation to overseas leisure travel.

With a new traffic light system brought in on Monday to allow some foreign holidays to resume again after months of coronavirus lockdown, Boris Johnson stressed countries on the amber list are “not somewhere where you should be going on holiday”.

Mr Johnson’s official spokesman, during a briefing with reporters on Tuesday, said holidays and leisure travel should still be restricted to the limited number of countries deemed safe by ministers, such as Portugal, which is the only major viable tourist destination on the quarantine-free green list.

Despite the presence of a green list comprising 12 countries and territories, health minister Lord Bethell told peers he considers all foreign travel to be “dangerous” and urged Britons to holiday at home this summer.

Education minister Gillian Keegan said travel to amber list destinations was supposed to be for “special circumstances” such as business or funerals.

“What we are saying is the amber list is not to go on holiday, not for pleasure travel at the moment,” she told Sky News.

“It’s not in legislation, we haven’t legislated to ban people from going on holiday abroad. This is guidance.

“As with many of these things we have had throughout the pandemic this has been about relying on the great British public to be sensible and follow the guidance we have put in place and taking their own decisions really.

“But, no, we wouldn’t advise going on holiday to the amber list countries.”