Published: 22:06, 30 October 2020
| Updated: 07:08, 31 October 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson could introduce national lockdown restrictions from next Wednesday.
The move would see everything except nurseries, schools, universities and essential shops close until December 1.
The Prime Minister is expected to hold a press conference on Monday to announce the measures.
Boris Johnson reportedly met with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove today, where he was shown data indicating the virus is 'out of control.'
A Government source told The Times there was a feeling nationwide measures were now necessary.
The PM had previously resisted another national lockdown, warning it would 'be like Hotel California - with no end in sight.'
But the apparent change of heart came after Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England, warned ministers the virus was running out of control.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are said to have agonised over the decision because of fears it would leave the economy in tatters.
But the scientists – backed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and senior minister Michael Gove – told them the virus was on track to kill 85,000 this winter, and that it was too late for a so-called 'circuit break'.
They called for a longer national lockdown – similar to the month-long shutdown in France – saying it was the only way to stop hospitals from running out of beds.
In other reports tonight, it was claimed a national lockdown could 'help save Christmas.'
Stringent measures now could allow restrictions could be relaxed to allow larger gatherings on Christmas Day, it was reported.
Tonight's developments come as documents from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) showed Covid was spreading significantly faster through England than even the government’s predicted worst-case scenario