Experts have warned a lockdown similar to that in November may be insufficient to curb the rampant spread of the virus.
Sage reportedly advised shutting schools in January could help to keep the R rate below 1.
Earlier today, Cabinet minister Michael Gove refused to rule out placing all of England under Tier 4.
He told BBC Breakfast: “We review which tiers parts of the country should be in on the basis of scientific evidence.
“The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) will be making a recommendation to ministers, but I can’t preempt that because it obviously has to be a judgment based on the medical situation.
“As you quite rightly point out, the NHS is under pressure and these are difficult months ahead.”