Yesterday saw the UK record another 1,325 deaths – the most on any single day during the pandemic.
There have now been nearly 80,000 coronavirus deaths and the grim daily death figures have now topped 1,000 for the third day running as a mutant strain rips across the country.
Nearly 70,000 infections were reported yesterday as cases across the country begin to soar.
Ministers are now considering how to tighten restrictions even further, with the increased use of masks at the top of the agenda.
It means Brits could be required to wear a face mask in busy outdoor public areas while pupils may have to wear masks in classrooms when they return after the current nationwide lockdown.
Many schools already ask students to wear masks on school grounds and in communal areas but in many schoools, pupils are allowed to take them off in classrooms.
Government ministers and scientists are growing increasingly concerned about public compliance with the lockdown and believe there are few major options left to tighten the restrictions further.
But, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and other ministers have been examining the case to extend the use of mask wearing.
It's thought that face coverings could be made mandatory in busy public places such as supermarket queues.
One government source told The Telegraph: "There's not a lot more that we can do.
"We've put in these very tough national restrictions. It is a lockdown for everyone all the time."
It comes as the Government has told everyone to act as if they have the virus and to stay at home, with police pledging to get tough on those who continue to flout lockdown rules.
Under the measures, rule breakers will be hit with a £200 fine for a first offence which will then double to £400 for a second.
The penalties could continue to double to as much as £6,400 if Brits continue to ignore life-saving restrictions.