The Prime Minister is set to address the nation on Tuesday evening to announce tighter coronavirus restrictions as the number of new infections continues to rise across the country.
It comes after the government’s scientific advisers, Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Chris Whitty, warned that the UK may see as many as 500,000 new cases per day if urgent action is not taken to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Boris Johnson will chair an emergency Cobra meeting ahead of his statement this evening. On Monday, he discussed the coronavirus response in calls with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill.
Watch: What can we expect to hear from Boris Johnson’s statement tonight?
Where can I watch tonight’s address?
Tune into BBC One, the BBC News Channel and Sky News at 8pm to watch Mr Johnson’s speech.
What will he announce?
Mr Johnson is expected to announce a number of new restrictions, including an order that pubs, restaurants and other venues in England will have to close at 10pm, starting on Thursday.
Despite the government’s push for workers to return to the office just weeks ago, the prime minister is also expected to advise employees to work from home if they can again.
Cabinet minister Michael Gove told Sky News earlier: “One of the things we are going to emphasise is that if is it possible for people to work from home, we are going to encourage them to do so.”
More new curbs will also include restricting the hospitality sector to table service only, by law. The tighter restrictions come nearly exactly six months since the first lockdown was imposed on the country on 23 March.
According to the Daily Telegraph, other potential measures being considered include a further delay to trials of spectators returning to professional sporting events and the closure of indoor concert venues.
However, Mr Johnson is not expected to announce a full-scale lockdown such as the one seen in March.
Will there be changes to existing restrictions in England?
No. Mr Johnson will emphasise the need for everyone to continue following social distancing guidance, wear face coverings and wash their hands regularly.
The rule of six, where gatherings of more than six people are not allowed, will also remain in place.
Why are new restrictions being imposed?
The number of new Covid-19 cases are rising by at least 6,000 a day in the UK, with hospital admissions doubling every eight days, according to official data.
Mr Vallance, during a briefing on Monday, said the UK could face 200 deaths linked to coronavirus per day by mid-November if the rate of infection is not brought under control now.
Watch: These were some of the most important moments from the COVID-19 briefing
Reducing social contacts was key to curbing the spread, said Mr Whitty, but a balance needed to be struck in terms of protecting the economy.
“If we do too little, this virus will go out of control and you will get significant numbers of increased direct and indirect deaths,” he said.
“But if we go too far the other way, then we can cause damage to the economy which can feed through to unemployment, to poverty, to deprivation — all of which have long-term health effects, so we need always to keep these two sides in mind.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he had agreed with local council leaders and public health experts on new Covid-19 restrictions to be put to central government, in an attempt to stem outbreaks within the capital.