Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for a short lockdown or “circuit-breaker” in England of two to three weeks to bring the rising rate of coronavirus under control.
He said measures were not working and another course was needed to prevent a “sleepwalk into… a bleak winter”.
His comments come after documents revealed government scientific advisers called for such action three weeks ago.
Another 143 people have died in the UK after testing positive for the virus.
MPs have approved the legislation to write a new three-tier system for coronavirus restrictions in England into law – with every area of the country classified as being on medium, high or very high alert.
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Sir Keir said his lockdown proposal would “not mean schools closing” but it should “run across half-term to minimise disruption”.
However, he said it would mean that “all pubs, bars and restaurants would be closed” and compensated “so that no business loses out because of the sacrifices we all need to make”.
“The government has not got a credible plan to slow infections. It has lost control of the virus and it’s no longer following scientific advice,” Sir Keir said.
He suggested it would also provide a chance for the government to “fix” problems by handing over track and trace responsibilities to local authorities.
Read More: Covid-19: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer calls for circuit breaker