Lockdown rules could be tightened to prevent people from meeting outdoors and making wearing masks in stores a legal requirement, according to reports.
The ministers plan to change the current restrictions to bring them closer to those that applied in March. The telegraph of the day reported.
The proposals include removing the exception that allows two people from different households to exercise together amid concerns that people exploit to socialize with their friends.
Wearing the mask could also be applied more widely, such as in offices and in queues or other crowded spaces outside. At present, the law only applies to shops and public transport.
Supermarkets may also be legally required to enforce wearing masks and social distancing in their stores, according to The temperature.
Other steps could include removing support bubbles, which were first introduced in June so vulnerable people can get more support, closing kindergartens and closing places of worship.
However, a source from Downing Street told the Telegraph the focus was on applying the current rules and “making sure people don’t use their own creativity to interpret the rules as they see fit”.
Government science advisers have urged Boris Johnson to step up the lockdown measures, given that they are less restrictive than those that applied in March, even though the new strain of coronavirus that was first spotted in September is 50% more infectious.
Police attempts to enforce coronavirus regulations during the third lockdown have been criticized as harsh, after two women were fined for driving five miles to meet in a beauty spot to take a walk together while drinking peppermint tea.
While guidance calls on people to “stay put” when they leave their homes to practice, the law does not limit the distance someone can walk.
England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has urged people to stay home as he has warned the NHS faces ‘the most dangerous situation’ in living memory.
The UK reported a record number of daily cases and deaths on Friday, and on Sunday the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital hit a record high in England at 30,000.