The measures, which will run through November until 2 December, will see the closure of pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops.

The prime minister is expected to move the whole of England into tougher COVID-19 measures when he holds a Downing Street news conference later today.

This will also see a nationwide ban on different households mixing inside homes, although schools, universities and colleges will remain open.

Until now, the government has been pursuing a localised approach to COVID-19 restrictions, with the country having been divided into three levels of measures, depending on local infection rates.

With the whole of England now set to enter tougher national measures for a number of weeks, it is understood the government’s plan is for different parts of the country to later be released back into the existing three tiers at different times, depending on transmission rates.

The prime minister will later set out the new national measures at a Downing Street news conference.

He is expected to be joined by England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser.

Earlier on Saturday, Mr Johnson’s top ministers were briefed by the government’s scientific advisers prior to a remote cabinet meeting.

The prime minister also held talks with senior Conservative MPs, with influential backbencher Steve Baker having met with Mr Johnson in Number 10.

Asked if England was about to enter a second lockdown, Mr Baker said after the meeting: “The truth is there’s more nuance than that here.

“Like you, I need to look forward to what the prime minister says. I don’t actually know what he’s going to say tonight.”

© 2020 Sky UK


News – Coronavirus: Boris Johnson to announce month-long lockdown across England, Sky News understands