Scientists from the Sage committee yesterday presented No 10 with bleak figures showing that Covid is spreading ‘significantly’ faster than even their original ‘worst-case scenario’ prediction.
One member of the group this morning said the virus is now ‘running riot’ across all age groups and took aim at the ‘naysayers’ denying a second wave.
Modelling presented to ministers forecast a peak of 4,000 daily deaths before the New Year if no further measures are imposed, according to papers seen by the BBC.
Last night a Cabinet source told the Mail that the dramatic move to blanket restrictions will be announced next week.
Mr Johnson is expected to make the announcement on Monday, with the restrictions beginning on Wednesday. It is thought they could last until December 1.
There were few details last night, but it is expected pubs and restaurants will be closed for weeks – causing further damage to the hospitality industry.
Schools are expected to remain open, but a source claimed to The Times that non-essential shops would shut. The Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have agonised over the decision because of fears it would leave the economy in tatters.