Should the tier 3 alert system fail, civil servants are reportedly drawing up plans for a more severe “tier 4” system, which could come into force by mid-November.
The new tier 4 system will most likely see non-essential shops and restaurants close in areas where the current tier 3 has failed, according to inews.
The decision could be made as soon as mid-November, where three is sufficient data to gauge the effectiveness of the current three tier approach, Whitehall sources told the newspaper.
Other options which are also on the table for consideration are “tier three plus” rules, along with complete localised lockdowns in “very high” hotspot areas.
Whitehall sources added that businesses could be forced to close with a total ban of people travelling outside high infected hotspot areas, which would be made law, rather that the government “advising against it.”
Professor Neil Ferguson, who was dubbed “professor lockdown” and is the former government scientific advisor, has warned that there is rising infections and “we really need to on top of this.”
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said, “Unfortunately, in every other age group case numbers continue to rise at about the same rate they were.
“There are little hints of slowing, for instance in the North East of England, but we are not seeing the sort of slowing that we really need to get on top of this.”