The cities of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and West Yorkshire have been hit with new restrictions with social gatherings banned inside and in private gardens.
Meanwhile, ministers have been warned by experts that “compromises”, such as closing pubs, may be needed to get schools to fully reopen in September.
And it is reported by the Sunday Telegraph and The Sunday Times that a sweeping plan to avoid a second lockout, something the Prime Minister recently equated with “nuclear deterrence” has been drawn up.
Elderly and vulnerable people could again be asked to stay at home to allow younger and less likely people to continue working while keeping death rates low.
Part of the “improved” or “differential” shielding plans could be to provide exclusive weekly slots for older people to visit stores and access services.
A city-wide lockdown in London is also reportedly being considered, with restrictions on travel inside and outside the M25 in the event of a spike in the capital.
The Sunday Times said Mr Johnson held a “war game” session with Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday to examine possible options to avoid another national lockdown that could block any potential economic recovery.
Meanwhile, tightening quarantine restrictions for those who fly to UK and ‘harder’
Local lockdowns as restrictions imposed last week are all under consideration.
The government’s change in tone comes after a slight increase in coronavirus cases nationwide in recent weeks in the UK.
Just a few weeks ago, Mr Johnson was talking about a return to normalcy by Christmas.
But since then he has raised signs of a second wave in Europe, with more than 3,000 daily cases in Spain, prompting the country to be taken off the UK’s non-quarantine travel list.
A high-level source from Whitehall told The Telegraph: “We hope that swift, regional action
lockdowns and quarantines will end the need for any more substantial action.
“However, we are preparing for all scenarios, and officials are currently developing a range of policy options to present to the Prime Minister. ”
The plan to avoid another lockdown comes after those who were protecting the people were finally released from chains for the first time on Saturday.
In Wales, the advice remains in effect until August 16.
Enhanced protection plans may include more people, depending on age and risk factors identified since March.
It could even see people aged 50 to 70 given a “personalized risk score,” according to the Times
It is believed that encouraging “protection afternoons” or “protection hours” for the most vulnerable to access shops and services is part of the plans.
Supermarkets introduced priority shopping hours for the elderly and vulnerable from the start
national lockdown in March.
The government is also believed to be considering a nationwide ban on people from different households meeting indoors, in case test and trace numbers suggest that social contact is partly to blame, as Matt Hancock claimed on last week. parts of northern England.
Downing Street sources distanced themselves from the details of the reports, calling them “speculative.”