The Prime Minister insisted local measures are best for now but refused to rule out another nationwide lockdown. In a Downing Street press conference on Friday, Mr Johnson said: “Some have argued that we should introduce a national lockdown instead of targeted local action, and I disagree.
“Closing businesses in Cornwall, where transmission is low, will not cut transmission in Manchester.
“So while I can’t rule anything out, if at all possible I want to avoid another national lockdown, with the damaging health, economic and social effects it would have.”
The Prime Minister said he did not want to go back to the “bad old days” when people were forced to stay at home.
He added: “The amount by which we need to reduce the R is not as big as it was right back in the beginning of the spread of this disease.
“If we all work together on the measures we have outlined, we can definitely do it.”
However, Mr Johnson warned the Government stood ready to impose more draconian measures “if necessary”.
It comes as the UK reported a further 15,650 coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the overall total since the start of the pandemic to 689,257.
The death toll rose by 136 to 43,429.
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7.25am update: Germany’s cases jump by 7,830
Germany has recorded 7,830 new coronavirus cases, bringing the overall total to 348,557, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.
The country’s death toll increased by 33 to 9,767.
7.20am update: Half of England now in tougher coronavirus restrictions
More than half of England is under heightened coronavirus restrictions after the strictest measures came into force in Lancashire and people in London were banned from meeting indoors.
Lancashire joined the Liverpool region in having Tier 3 restrictions.
People in London, Essex, York, Elmbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, North East Derbyshire, Erewash and Chesterfield can no longer mix inside with those from other households, including in pubs and restaurants.
The measures came into force as Greater Manchester continues to resist moving to Tier 3.