Pubs and restaurants could be forced to close next week in an attempt to curb the increasing number of coronavirus cases.
The PM might impose a two-week long lockdown within a matter of days.
Scientists warned Boris Johnson there was “no alternative” to a second national lockdown. following the high number of daily coronavirus deaths.
Although the new ‘rule of six’ has been just been implemented, it could be scrapped for stricter measures, with suggestions the Government may “intensify” coronavirus restrictions as early as Tuesday, reports the Mirror Online.
Yesterday (September 18), the PM warned the that the UK is just six weeks behind France and Spain – where the daily death toll rose to 239 this week, and admitted a second wave was “inevitable”, reports Yorkshire Live.
It is speculated that the lockdown would not be ‘continuous’ and would see Brits facing six months of restrictions as part of an “on-off” lockdown.
Resulting in the potential of bars and pubs being forced to shut with bans on all social contact between households with intervals of relaxation.
Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling led to the Government ordering the lockdown in March, has warned that new coronavirus restrictions will be needed “sooner rather than later” if the authorities are to prevent the disease surging again.
Neil said: “Right now we are at about the levels of infection we were seeing in this country in late February,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“If we leave it another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid-March. That’s clearly going to cause deaths because people will be hospitalised.
“I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later.”
He continues: “We have in some sense a perfect storm right now of people, as they have been told to, getting back to normal – schools reopening, a surge in cases so therefore the testing system is under strain.
“So unfortunately we do have to roll the relaxation of measures back a little bit and get contacts down in the population.”
Ministers hope the new approach can avoid a full UK-wide lockdown.
Data released yesterday suggests that the UK’s R number is between 1.1 and 1.4 – meaning the number of new cases doubles every seven-to-eight days.
Talking to BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Prof Neil Ferguson said: “My own view is at the moment a temporary lockdown – it wouldn’t be like it was in March, it would be less restrictive than that – would pull down infection numbers to allow the testing system to cope a bit better.
“But I think actually what we want is to have a set of sustainable measures through until we have a vaccine, not go through this cycle again.”
Despite the ‘rule of six’ which came into force last week, the PM said he is weighing up whether to “go further.”
He said: “We’re looking very carefully at the spread of the pandemic as it evolves over the last few days and there’s no question, as I’ve said for several weeks now, that we could expect (and) are now seeing a second wave coming in.
“We are seeing it in France, in Spain, across Europe – it has been absolutely, I’m afraid, inevitable we were going to see it in this country.”
“But as we look at this particular curve and what is happening now, clearly we are going to keep everything under review. I don’t want to get into a second national lockdown at all – it is the last thing anybody wants.
“I don’t want to go into bigger lockdown measures at all, we want to keep schools open.
“We want to keep the economy open as far as we possibly can, we want to keep businesses going.
“The only way we can do that is obviously if people follow the guidance.”