The Prime Minister is expected to be joined by Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance in Downing Street at 5 p.m., after a cabinet meeting earlier in the afternoon.
Johnson has so far resisted pressure to introduce nationwide restrictions, opting for a localized tier system instead, but he reportedly considers closing everything except essential stores and educational institutions for a month from Wednesday.
The policy change comes after new data showed the extent of cases in England. The Office for National Statistics estimated that 568,100 people in households were infected with the coronavirus during the week ending October 23.
Sage members supported the introduction of stricter measures.
Sage member Professor Calum Semple told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “For opponents who do not believe in a second wave, there is a second wave.
“And, unlike the first wave, where we had a nationwide lockdown that protected huge swathes of society, this epidemic is now starting riots across all age groups.”
Professor John Edmunds said the only way to have a “relatively safe” Christmas was to take “tough” steps now to reduce the incidence of the virus.
It comes after a senior government science adviser said it was “certainly too late to think that the two week breaker will be enough to fix this problem.”
“That would bring him back a bit but it wouldn’t be enough to reduce (the R-value). A two week breaker would have an effect, but now it would almost certainly have to last longer to have a significant effect.
They said the R-value needs to be lowered below one in many places to “bring it down to levels that are not likely to compromise the capacity of health services,” while in other regions growth needs to be. stabilize for this to happen.
“The longer you leave it,” they warned, “the harder it is to turn the situation around”.
The proposed restrictions have led to further calls for increased financial assistance for affected businesses, the day the leave program closes and is replaced by the Chancellor’s Employment Support Program (JSS).
Kate Nicholls, the managing director of UK Hospitality, said a nationwide lockdown would be “absolutely devastating” for the industry and called on the sector to receive “significant additional help to overcome this”.
France and Germany announced national lockdown restrictions earlier this week, while in Northern Ireland pubs and restaurants were closed for four weeks from October 16, except for dishes at take out and deliveries. Schools were closed for two weeks.
Wales is currently under a ‘firewall’ lockdown, with leisure, hospitality and tourism activities closed, and in Scotland the majority of people will be below level 3 in a new five-tier system from Monday.