The Prime Minister is set to impose tougher restrictions for parts of England today, which could see the possible closure of pubs and restaurants.
Ministers are said to be considering similar strict new measures for swathes of northern England and the Midlands, amid concerns that the virus is spreading out of control.
When will Boris Johnson make the announcement?
Boris Johnson is expected to make a formal announcement of new measures in a statement to MPs later today (Monday 12 October).
Northumberland residents missing out on almost £32 million in unclaimed benefits
Drop in the number of Covid cases in Northumberland
Warning issued after thousands of illegal vapes seized in Northumberland
Northumbria Healthcare reflects on first year of key pledge
GP patient survey 2022: The 36 best rated doctor’s surgeries in Northumberland
The PM is expected to make a statement to MPs at around 3.30pm, announcing the new system of “local COVID alert levels” in England.
This will come after a COBRA meeting this morning in which the details of the proposed three-tier lockdown system will be finalised.
At around 6 pm, Mr Johnson will host a televised press conference alongside Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, to address the public and answer questions.
“This is a critical juncture and it is absolutely vital that everyone follows the clear guidance we have set out to help contain the virus,” Downing Street said.
What measures could be implemented in a three-tier lockdown?
In an effort to address the rising infection rates, the PM will likely introduce a three-tier system for local lockdowns, which would see different parts of England placed into different categories.
Areas in England are set to be labelled as medium, high or very high risk, depending on their infection rates, which will inform the “appropriate interventions” needed in each area.
Areas that fall into “medium” are likely to continue to follow national restrictions, such as the "rule of six" and social distancing.
Those in “high” will have restrictions to be similar to those currently in place in large parts of northern England, including bans on household meetings.
Areas placed into “very high” would include those with significantly higher infection rates and will likely face a full lockdown, which would see pubs, cafes and restaurants forced to close.
Will pubs and restaurants close?
Mr Johnson is expected to order tougher restrictions in swathes of northern England and the Midlands, with the worst affected areas facing the possible closure of pubs and restaurants.
Cities including Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle will most likely see hospitality venues forced to shut, as infection rates in these areas continue to soar.
However, a final decision on the time period or extent of the potential closures has not yet been confirmed.