All pubs, restaurants and bars would be ordered to shut for two weeks under the new lockdown measures being considered if COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said any new national lockdown would threaten jobs, livelihoods and human contact.
But government sources say London’s fate is “in the balance” after the capital’s Mayor warned it is at a “tipping point”.
While Merseyside and other areas in the northeast are under threat of further restrictions as early as this week. Liverpool recorded the third highest cases, where the rate has risen from 146.6 to 251.8, with 1,254 new cases.
Households would also be banned indefinitely from meeting each other in any indoor location where they were not already under the order, according to reports in the Times.
Schools and shops would be allowed to remain open, along with factories and offices at which staff could not work from home.
Mr Johnson is said to have been presented with the plans last week but rejected them over fears of a backlash.
A senior source said: “The nation and the party weren’t ready for us to go any further last week.
“There wasn’t a wide enough understanding of how substantial the second wave could be.
“Unlike the first lockdown, nobody has seen pictures of body bags in Spain or France on the TV yet, which had a very powerful effect. You have totake people with you.
“Tougher measures on social interaction will have to come though. They’re inevitable in some parts if you look at the numbers.”
It comes after Britain last week imposed new measures that required people to work from home where possible and had ordered restaurants and bars to close early to tackle a fast-spreading second wave of COVID-19, with new restrictions lasting probably six months.
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7.50am update: Health minister on neighbours breaking rules
Health minister Helen Whately has said people will have to make their own judgments on whether to inform on neighbours who break coronavirus rules.
She told Sky News: “Everyone will make their own judgments.
“If you see that there’s a marquee in someone’s garden, there’s a huge party going on, you are probably going to take action about that because that is clearly a risk of spreading the virus.”
7.45am update: Second lockdown fears
Junior Health Minister Helen Whately told Sky News: “We don’t want to bring on new restrictions but of course we keep a constant eye on what is going on with the COVID rate.
“We were looking at what we might be able to do.”
She said the Government could not rule out further restrictions if coronavirus infections continued to rise.
“We don’t want to bring in more restrictions but of course we keep a constant eye on what’s going with the Covid rates and we have seen these upward trends in recent weeks.
“This is the moment in time we have an opportunity, we have a choice as a country to get this back down under control.
“We have to break these chains of transmission. That’s the way we get the rates back down again. We have seen them going up again in the last two weeks.”