The UK is said to be in the "last chance saloon" to avoid new coronavirus lockdown restrictions amid warnings the measures could last up to six months.
The Prime Minister is expected to set out new measures in a press conference as early as Tuesday after a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases across the UK.
"The message is that ‘This is it'. We have heavy measures down the road unless we can get things back on track, rather than saying any new restrictions are going ahead. This is the last chance saloon," a Government source told the Telegraph.
Watch: What is a local lockdown?
Ministers were reported to be split on how far any new restrictions should go, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak said to be resisting controls which could further damage the economy.
A source told the Telegraph that Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove were "keen" on more immediate measures to curb the rise in infections, but the rest of the Cabinet was opposed.
“Members of SAGE are pushing for restrictions now but they have not been looking at the economic situation. Obviously Rishi is in a position where he is having a say too," the Government source told the newspaper.
It comes as the Prime Minister has reportedly been told by the Government’s scientific advisers that an effective vaccine for Covid-19 may not be available until the spring, meaning new restrictions could last up to six months.
"It is a very, very complicated picture that we need to look at over the next six months and that is going to be the tough part," a Government source told the Times.
"By the time we get into the spring next year things look broadly more optimistic in terms of treatments and vaccines. But the next six months are very difficult and there is an awful lot to consider."
In a televised briefing at 11am on Monday, Professor Chris Whitty will say the country faces a "very challenging winter" , with the current trend heading in "the wrong direction".
The chief medical officer for England, who will appear alongside the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, will explain how the virus is spreading in the UK and the potential scenarios that could unfold as winter approaches.
The Prime Minister spent the weekend with senior ministers and advisers discussing what action to take as the rise in the number of new cases showed no sign of slowing .
During a series of broadcast interviews over the weekend, Mr Hancock refused to rule out a second national lockdown in England , if people fail to follow the social distancing rules.
He said he feared cases could go "shooting through the roof”"with more hospitalisations and more deaths.
Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan is to meet council leaders in the city on Monday to discuss possible new restrictions in the capital, which they would then put to ministers.
"The situation is clearly worsening,” a spokesman for the mayor said.
"The mayor wants fast action as we cannot risk a delay, as happened in March. It is better for both health and business to move too early than too late."
Another 3,899 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK were announced on Sunday, while a further 18 people died within 28 days of testing positive, bringing the UK total to 41,777.