Tough new restrictions including a ban on households mixing indoors or outdoors are expected to be announced tomorrow in a bid to curb coronavirus infection rates.
Millions will be affected by the new rules, which will be rolled out across the most affected areas of the UK, namely the North West and North East.
Beauty salons and sports venues are expected to be shut, along with pubs.
England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has warned that the UK is at a tipping point, similar to a few months ago when the first wave of Covid-19 was about to engulf the country.
The measures are expected to include:
- A blanket ban on mixing between households in and outdoors
- Being asked not to leave local areas
- Closure of beauty salons and sports venues
- Pubs closed – but restaurants allowed to stay open under certain conditions
- All non-essential businesses closed
He added: "Earlier in the year, we were fighting a semi-invisible disease, about which we had little knowledge, and it seeded in the community at great speed.
"Now we know where it is and how to tackle it – let's grasp this opportunity and prevent history from repeating itself."
A further 13,864 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK were reported on Friday, and 87 more deaths were confirmed of people who died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the House of Commons tomorrow, where he is expected to confirm plans for a controversial three-tiered lockdown system across the UK.
Under the proposed system, different parts of the country would be placed in different categories, with areas in the highest level expected to face the toughest restrictions.
Areas where the spread was better contained would be able to live more freely.
UK 'heading for new national lockdown within two weeks' after tracing chaos
Pressure has grown on Number 10 to take action to curb rising coronavirus rates in the north of England since Nicola Sturgeon took much sterner action in Scotland – closing pubs early and restricting alcohol sales.
It is already rumoured cities such as Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool will be placed under much harsher restrictions after recent spikes there.
One Whitehall source admitted to the Mirror: "The data for the North in particular is increasingly concerning."
And a Downing Street source told The Sun: "The numbers are going the wrong way, and there will come a point very soon where we simply have to do more."
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