Boris Johnson is set to address the nation this evening in a televised address, to give an update on the battle against coronavirus and announce new restrictions.
It comes amid increased talk of a second lockdown, and reports that the Prime Minister is considering a number of stricter measures, in addition to the newly imposed 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants in England.
He is also expected to confirm that the government's advice on returning to the office has changed to work from home if possible.
Mr Johnson has attracted criticism for shying away from the public eye at various points throughout the pandemic, but he is set to give a televised speech later to discuss the latest updates regarding the coronavirus, and lay out the plan to address the significant increase in cases seen in the last week or so.
This comes after the Prime Minister reportedly spent the weekend discussing the merits of a so-called “circuit-break” lockdown, which he hopes will change the course that the UK seems to be on with regard to rising cases.
A circuit-break lockdown would mean a rapid tightening of restrictions all over the country to levels not seen since the full lockdown. It is thought that this would involve schools and offices remaining open, but pubs, restaurants and much of the services sector could close down for a fortnight, or face additional restrictions and a curfew.
However, it is understood that the PM wants to try a softer approach first.
When will Boris Johnson speak?
Boris Johnson will chair a Cobra Meeting this morning and will address parliament at some point later in the day.
Mr Johnson will then give an address to the nation at 8pm. The televised speech will be broadcast on BBC One, BBC News and Sky News.
What is he likely to say?
It is expected that Mr Johnson will speak to the nation to prepare them for the implementation of further restrictions aimed at stamping out the increase in coronavirus cases across the UK.
Yesterday, Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance warned that “if we do too little, this virus will go out of control.”
Why would he be announcing extra measures?
Reports of a forthcoming address follow comments the Prime Minister made over the weekend during a trip to Oxford, where he said there is “no question that we are now seeing a second wave.”
The most recent figures show that the number of new daily coronavirus cases in the UK has risen to 4,422, which is the highest level since early May, with estimates showing that new infections and hospitalisations are doubling approximately every week.
Mr Johnson said, “There’s no question that we are now seeing a second wave coming in. We’ve seen it in France and Spain, across Europe. It’s been, I’m afraid, absolutely inevitable that we would see it in this country.
“We want to keep the schools open - that's going to happen. I will try and keep all parts of the economy open, as far as we possibly can.
“I don’t think anybody wants to go into a second lockdown but clearly, when you look at what is happening, you've got to wonder whether we need to go further than the ‘rule of six’ that we brought in on Monday.”
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, The Yorkshire Evening Post.