Medical advisors are said to be briefing Mr Johnson this weekend on what they would like to see happen to tackle the recent surge in cases
The Prime Minister is set to address the nation on TV this week to “reveal plans of a lockdown”, according to reports.
As the number of new coronavirus cases continue to rise, Boris Johnson could be about to issue tougher lockdown rules for the rest of the year.
The new rules, applying to England, could see reduced opening hours at pubs, households banned from mixing and tougher penalties for whose who flout them, the Mirror is reporting.
A No10 source described reports about Mr Johnson making a TV address as speculation. The PM has however given TV addresses or press conferences when there are major rule changes in the past.
Medical advisors are said to be briefing Mr Johnson this weekend on what they would like to see happen to tackle the recent surge in cases.
It is claimed he could make his TV address on Tuesday, although this has not been confirmed.
A further 4,422 Covid-19 infections were recorded in the UK on Saturday, the highest daily increase since May 8.
Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance are set to meet the PM on Sunday to outline plans for what could happen if no tougher action is taken to control the virus.
It’s understood City Hall and government officials were due to meet on Sunday afternoon to look at the data ahead of possible restrictions in London.
It comes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned Britain is at a “tipping point” as he refused to rule out a second national coronavirus lockdown if the public fails to follow social distancing rules.
With cases rising across the country, Mr Hancock said there was a danger the numbers could “shoot through the roof” unless effective action was taken to halt the spread of the virus.
His warning came as the Government announced anyone in England who refuses an order to self-isolate could face a fine of up to £10,000.
Announcing the scheme, the PM said: “The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they are at risk of passing on the virus.
“And while most people are doing their level best to comply with the rules, I don’t want to see a situation where people don’t feel they are financially able to self-isolate.”
It is the latest effort to contain a second wave sweeping the UK, as millions of Brits are placed into local lockdowns.
As of Tuesday, around 13.5 million people across the UK will be facing some form of local restrictions as the authorities and devolved government’s in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all grapple with controlling the disease.
On Monday the Westminster government’s “rule of six” came into force, banning socialising in groups of more than six – but Mr Johnson said he is weighing up whether to “go further”.
Boris Johnson has been desperate to avoid another nationwide lockdown amid concerns about the economic damage it will inflict just as activity was beginning to pick up again.
But he has refused to rule out a national, two week “circuit break” lockdown after the R number infection rate rose to between 1.1 and 1.4.
Yesterday, he warned the country is just six weeks behind France and Spain – where the daily death toll rose to 239 this week.
Matt Hancock said he had spoken with London Mayor Sadiq Khan over the weekend about what action is needed in the capital.
Asked if London office employees could be advised to work from home from some point next week, Mr Hancock told Times Radio: “Well, I wouldn’t rule it out.”
Such a move would be in contrast to the Government’s recent messaging, which has been urging people to get back to their offices following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
It comes as Sadiq Khan is urging ministers to extend the latest regional restrictions – including ordering bars and restaurants to close at 10pm – to cover the capital as well.
Mr Khan had said it is “increasingly likely” that lockdown restrictions will soon be needed to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days is reported to have increased in London from 18.8 to around 25 earlier in the week.
Mayoral sources said the city was catching up with disease hotspots in the North West and North East of England, which have been placed under new controls.
The Government’s original lockdown architect, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, warned tougher restrictions were needed “sooner rather than later”.
The epidemiologist – who resigned from government scientific advisory group Sage in May for flouting his own lockdown rules – said: “Right now we’re at about the levels of infections we were seeing in late February. If we leave it at another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid-March.
News – PM set to ‘address the nation on TV with winter lockdown plans’