THE UK has seen a worrying rise in the number of reported coronavirus cases for two days running.
In order to guard against a second wave, Boris Johnson’s Cabinet will order tighter restrictions – slashing the numbers from groups of 30 to six.
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No final decision has been made but new clampdown measures will attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus across the UK.
There were 2,988 new cases reported on Sunday, September 6, up from 1,813 on Saturday.
And 2,948 cases were recorded on Monday too, leading scientists to believe a second spike is underway.
The new measures will be introduced across England to lower the number of people meeting in groups indoors and out.
Under the current rules, no more than 30 people can meet inside with up to one other household, but this will be slashed to just six.
The new rules will also stipulate that the six people can be from different households, in an attempt to bring rules in line with outdoor gatherings.
The latest government guidelines are set to be announced by Boris Johnson at a coronavirus press briefing at around 4pm today (September 9).
But the indications are that there will not be a second lockdown just yet.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News: “There is a concerning rise in cases and it reminds us that we have to keep following the guidance.
“Although we are encouraged to return to the workplace to support jobs, cafes and so on, we need to do so responsibly.
“As we approach the autumn and winter there is going to be even more responsibility on all of us to keep following the guidelines.
“Nobody wants to see a return to full national restrictions of the kind we had earlier this year.”
The Government’s lockdown watchlist was first published on April 23 and was last updated on September 4.
The Welsh town of Caerphilly will go into a local lockdown at 6pm on September 8.
Health Secretary Hancock announced in the Commons on September 8 that Bolton would have restrictions imposed after cases spiralled to 120 per 100,000 in the last week, currently the highest in the country.
Hospitality businesses will only be able to sell takeaways and have to close between 10pm and 5am to stop the spread of the virus even further.
The regulations will take effect immediately.
And rules preventing households from meeting in public will also be enshrined in law, meaning people will face £100 fines for breaking rules.
He said on September 8 in the House of Commons: “We all have a part to play.
“Together we can tackle this, so long as we remember our actions today are consequences tomorrow.
“Each and every citizen has a responsibility to follow social distancing.
“This virus remains with us and remains a threat.”
It’s the first town to face such restrictions where businesses have been ordered to shut again since the national lockdown.
In Leicester they were forced to stay closed following a spike in cases over the summer.
Areas of intervention
3. Blackburn with Darwen
Areas of enhanced support
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk
Areas of concern
Oadby & Wigston
England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said a surge in cases in the 17 to 21 age group has now become increasingly worrying – as they may then go on to pass the virus onto their parents, and grandparents.
He revealed the “downstream consequences” of the gatherings are that the country is now seeing increased cases of transmission and faces a “bumpy ride” ahead.
Prof Van-Tam added: “I am quite concerned that we must take this seriously so that we don’t end up with a spreading problem over the next few weeks and months.”
Professor Andrew Hayward, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said the latest increase in coronavirus cases is “very worrying”.
He told Radio 4: “That is what we are really keeping a close eye on – the extent to which it moves away from these local outbreaks to broader community transmission.”
The latest government figures, published on September 7, said the r-rate is within the range of 0.9 and 1.1.
The r-rate stands for the reproduction number.
The reproduction number is a way of rating a disease’s ability to spread.
It’s the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to, on average.
The growth rate change is currently -1 per cent to +2 per cent.
A growth rate between -1 per cent and +2 per cent means the number of new infections is somewhere between shrinking by 1 per cent and growing by 2 per cent every day.