At this stage it is not known how severe the restrictions will be, but it has been reported that government scientists have provided the Prime Minister with NHS data that is so bleak that he has been given no choice.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering imposing tough new national restrictions on England within days of scientists warning that half a million people are infected with the coronavirus every week.
A new order for people to stay at home is expected to be announced next week as a rise in coronavirus cases is reported.
Members of the Sage committee revealed grim figures showing that the killer bug is spreading “significantly” faster than even their original “worst case scenario” prediction.
But what will new constraints mean? Which companies will be ordered to close, and will vulnerable people have to protect themselves again?
However, final decisions are not yet expected to be made, and tougher regional measures – such as the introduction of Tier 4 – are also being considered, the Mirror reported.
The government has also been warned that some hospitals may not even have enough staff to cope with the extra patients on top of the NHS’s normal winter burden as the flu season approaches.
In addition, current forecasts suggest that NHS beds will be overcrowded with patients struggling with coronavirus.
In mid-October, when Labour leader Keir Starmer called for a national shutdown, a senior government source said: “Keir Starmer is a shameless opportunist playing politics in the middle of a global pandemic,” said a senior government source.
The scientists, backed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Senior Minister Michael Gove, said the virus was on track to kill 85,000 people this winter and it was too late for a so-called “circuit breaker”.
The government must now work out plans for the new shutdown this weekend before Mr Johnson addresses the nation.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to have considered a national lockdown for fear of an economic collapse.
All new measures are expected to last until December.
Scientific advisors assume that all areas will have to be included in Level 3 – with some providing for even tighter controls.
Under current Tier 3 rules, households and bubbles must not mix indoors or outdoors.
The “rule of six” also applies outdoors.
If the entire nation is forced into Tier 3 pubs, bars and restaurants, pubs, bars and restaurants, casinos, gyms, recreation centers and other non-essential businesses will have to close.