Boris Johnson is said to be considering putting the whole of England in a month-long national lockdown, in the hopes coronavirus cases will go down before Christmas.
The government could announce the new restrictions as soon as Monday, November 2, after top ministers gathered to discuss the ‘alarming’ new NHS data on Friday, October 30.
Reports have suggested that the new ‘stay at home’ order would mean that everything would shut, with the exception of essential shops, schools, universities and nurseries.
‘The data is really bad,’ a source told The Times. ‘We’re seeing coronavirus rising all over the country and hospitals are struggling to cope. There has been a shift in position.’
According to BBC News, documents detailing the spread of virus suggest that the UK could see a much higher death toll than in the first spike, if the government fails to introduce measures to reduce the spread. During the first wave, the death toll rose as high as 1,000 per day, however that number could be as high as 4,000 per day if no restrictions are in place.
These documents are based on what would happen if the government opted not to introduce any restrictions to curb the virus.
It comes after the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) revealed documents suggesting COVID-19 is spreading a lot faster than the organisation had pre-empted as a ‘worst case scenario’ in England.
And, it’s not just the UK which is seeing cases soar. Infection rates have been increasing exponentially in Belgium, France and Germany, too. France and Germany have both announced national lockdowns.
It is important to note, however, that no final decisions have been made yet, and some cabinet members are yet to be consulted over what the next stages will be. An announcement from the UK government is expected to take place on Monday.