Boris Johnson will announce further lockdown restrictions on Tuesday in a bid to stop the spiralling numbers of coronavirus cases.
The Prime Minister has been mulling whether to introduce tighter measures in recent days as the number of confirmed Covid cases accelerates again.
A televised address, detailing a range of new rules, is expected on Tuesday, one day after the government’s top scientists warned the UK is on course for 50,000 infections a day next month if infection rates continue to surge.
It’s part of a busy day for the PM, during which he will also chair meetings of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee and his Cabinet, and make a speech in the House of Commons.
When is Boris Johnson’s speech
Mr Johnson’s televised announcement will take place at 8pm on Tuesday night.
Boris Johnson’s House of Commons announcement
The PM’s televised address will come after he makes an announcement to the Commons.
Mr Johnson is expected to stand up in front of MPs at around 12.30pm on Tuesday, after he’s chaired Cabinet and Cobra meetings on Tuesday morning.
What could Boris Johnson announce?
Mr Johnson is expected to order pubs and other venues in England to close at 10pm from Thursday, No10 confirmed.
The hospitality sector will be restricted to table service only by law.
Other restrictions “on the table” could include harsher penalties those flouting the new laws, in place of the recent “whack-a-mole” local restrictions that now affect more than 10million people.
They are expected to include a ban on households mixing inside or outside their home and guidance to avoid public transport unless necessary for school or work.
There could also be tougher enforcement for pubs and restaurants where customers break the rules – and steeper fines for breaching social-distancing laws.
During Monday’s press conference, Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty warned: “We have to break unnecessary links between households, because that is the way in which this virus is transmitted.“
10pm curfews for pubs and restaurants and daytime restrictions to takeaways or table service exist in some areas already, including the North East and Bolton.
Essential travel – asking the public to move around just for work, school or medical appointments to keep numbers on public transport low – is already in place in parts of South Wales and the North East.
A two-week ‘circuit breaker’ – a fortnight of tightened and targeted restrictions – could also be enforced. This would involve shutting the hospitality sector but keeping schools and workplaces open in a bid to avoid a full lockdown but also relieve pressure on the NHS.
The PM is also expected to make a renewed push for the whole of the UK to work together on these new rules.
Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance’s briefing
On Monday, Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty issued a stark warning to Brits “taking their own risk”, saying: “The problem with a pandemic… is if I as an individual I increase my risk I increase the risk to everyone around me and everyone who is a contact of theirs.
“Sooner or later the chain will meet people who are vulnerable or elderly or have a long term problem from Covid.”
In their press conference, Prof Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser, said Britain faces a “six-month problem that we have to deal with collectively” before science “rides to the rescue”, suggesting a vaccine could be available towards the end of the year or in early 2021.
“We should see this as a six-month problem that we have to deal with collectively. It’s not indefinite and … science will in due course ride to our rescue,” he said.