Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce on Wednesday that many parts of England will be plunged into Tier 4 restrictions.
Government Ministers along with public health officials held talks on Tuesday evening over how to contain the new variant of the virus sweeping across the country.
There is a very “high chance” that the government will place England into a New Year lockdown, according to Whitehall sources.
The Whitehall sources told the Telegraph, “The expectation now is that we get through Christmas, but after that the chances of a full lockdown in the new year look pretty high.”
The Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick told Sky News, “it may be necessary to take further action” in some areas of England to contain the spread of the new virus strain.
He said, “We don’t have a timetable for that. The government’s Covid operations committee is meeting later today to review further evidence.
“We keep this under review, we are constantly hearing from our scientific advisers about what we should do.”
Birmingham is expected to be placed into Tier 4 this week, according to the Mirror, whilst The Times newspaper has reported that West Sussex, and East Sussex could also be plunged into strict measures.
There is also a very “high liklihood” that Cumbria and Lancashire could also be placed into Tier 4 following a sharp increase in cases of the new variant.
The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said that he will support the government in placing England into a lockdown.
The Professor said that the new variant is likely to “out compete other strains” of the virus which could become dominant globally.
The former chief government scientific adviser has warned Boris Johnson that he “shouldn’t wait” and place the whole of England into lockdown.
Sir David King is heavily critical of the Prime Minister’s response to the pandemic and other scientists have accused Johnson of making another “blundering error.”