Families face a ban on reuniting indoors amid proof that they are responsible for the spread of the coronavirus.
Boris Johnson is on the verge of bursting the system of “bubbles” which allows separated households to come together under one roof.
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Science advisers told the PM that too much mixing between family groups was the main cause of an alarming increase in infections.
He is now considering a series of tough actions after being warned that the “second peak” has already started.
Government nerves grow in fear that the unlocking process may need to be reversed – just weeks after it started.
A more severe regional lockdown may be imposed in a wider area of north-west England, where infection rates are highest. But another option is the bubble ban, which allows up to 30 people from two households to meet indoors except in the Northwest.
A source said: ‘We want to avoid a second national lockdown at all costs and a lot will depend on how we can keep an eye on things. Mr Johnson on Friday put the brakes on easing restrictions after receiving new data from the Test and Trace system.
The sun says
Britain is in a very different place than it was just two weeks ago.
Then Boris Johnson predicted near normality on Christmas and we could see fairy lights at the end of the tunnel.
Since then, the government has been forced to put the brakes on, with last-minute restrictions on vacationers and local lockdowns in large parts of the north.
And there is more pain to come for fear that a second peak has already started.
Government scientists know that the virus is mainly spread by friends and relatives who hang out in their homes.
Thus, a new ban on indoor meetings cannot be ruled out.
The irresponsible behavior of the Covidiots like former English star Paul Scholes illustrates the extent of the problem.
Hosting a home party in a high risk containment zone is not an example we want young people to follow.
The suggestions that many of those who do not speak English have not even been made aware of the restrictions due to lack of translations are also appalling.
Conservative Baroness Verma says today that thousands of people in Leicester have never received information about the pandemic in their own language.
If that’s true, it’s a shame.
Politicians find the money to translate the election leaflets when they chase the votes.
Safety advice should be spoken loudly and clearly in all languages regardless of the cost.
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People who visit or invite visitors to their homes are the main cause of infection.
Another option being considered is to order sick, elderly and vulnerable people to stay at home.
Meanwhile, No10 has denied allegations that the full reopening of schools is threatened. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said, “Having schools fully open next month remains my top priority.”
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