Boris Johnson is reportedly spending the weekend considering whether to impose national lockdown restrictions after scientists and opposition leaders urged him to ‘act now’.

The PM admitted yesterday that the UK was seeing a second wave and that it was inevitable coronavirus would hit the country again.

Professor Neil Ferguson – whose modelling led the government to order the lockdown in March – said the UK is facing a ‘perfect storm’ following the easing of controls over the summer.

The PM is said to be mulling over proposals for new restrictions across England as the latest figures show new infections are doubling every week.

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Ministers are thought to be looking at a temporary two-week ‘circuit break’ in an attempt to break the chain of transmission. The move could see pubs and restaurants ordered to close or face a 10pm curfew, while socialising between households could be banned.

Prof Ferguson said the government needs to move swiftly rather than wait until the October half-term break, as some reports have suggested it is considering.

‘If we leave it another two to four weeks, we will be back at [infection] levels we were seeing more like mid-March,’ he told the BBC.

‘That’s clearly going to cause deaths because people will be hospitalised.

‘I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later.

‘We have in some sense a perfect storm right now of people, as they have been told to, getting back to normal, schools reopening, a surge in cases, so therefore the testing system is under strain.

‘So unfortunately we do have to roll the relaxation of measures back a little bit and get contacts down in the population.’

Today Labour joined the Scottish and Welsh governments in calling on the Prime Minister to summon a meeting of the Government’s Cobra civil contingencies committee – which has not met since May – to consider the worsening situation.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner told the Today programme: ‘He has to look at the science and the evidence and he has to make sure the measures are in place and a clear communications strategy on that so people can do the right thing.

‘It has been absolutely shocking to see how monumentally they have failed at the testing, tracing, tracking system that they put in place.’

The Prime Minister remains desperate to avoid another full national lockdown which would hit the economy hard just as activity is beginning to pick up again.

Today the government announced a £10,000 fine for anyone who refuses an order to self-isolate after testing positive or coming into contact with an infected person.

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It comes after millions of people were put under local lockdown and a nationwide ‘rule of six’ was introduced to bring the virus down.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has urged the government to introduce stronger coronavirus measures in England to avoid another national lockdown and protect the NHS from being ‘crippled’.

The organisation said the rule of six makes it possible for members of six households to meet indoors, potentially several times over the course of one day, and that the number of households that can mix should be reduced.

It is also urging the government to reverse its stance on getting workers back to the office by encouraging the public to work from home, in order to reduce contact between people including on public transport.

The BMA also suggested a ‘take out to help out’ approach similar to the Chancellor’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, to reduce the number of people going to restaurants.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to Oxford on Friday, Mr Johnson said it is clear the long-feared second wave of the pandemic has reached the UK and some additional measures are likely to be necessary.

‘We are now seeing a second wave coming in. We are seeing it in France, in Spain, across Europe – it has been absolutely, I’m afraid, inevitable we were going to see it in this country,’ he said.

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