Are we heading for a second lockdown in the UK?
16 September 2020, 12:48 | Updated: 16 September 2020, 15:27
The UK government recently tightened lockdown restrictions amid concerns about a spike in coronavirus cases, so are we heading for another lockdown in the UK?
On Monday 14 September, the social distancing 'rule of six' made social gatherings of seven or more people illegal across the UK with the government expected to make more rules in the coming weeks.
The new measure was introduced following a spike in coronavirus cases in the country, and it has not been confirmed how long it will be in place. So is the UK heading for a second lockdown?
There have also been reports that the country could be headed for a nationwide 'curfew' that would see bars, pubs and restaurants ordered to shut at 10pm.
A government insider told the Telegraph: "A national curfew is the obvious next step if the numbers keep rising despite all the steps we are currently taking.
"But we are not at that stage at the moment, and hopefully the action we are taking locally to contain outbreaks where they occur will mean we don't have to go that far."
Is the UK heading for a second lockdown?
Despite the introduction of tighter measures, it's been reported that the government is keen to avoid a second lockdown.
Boris Johnson previously said that the rule of six was being introduced "to prevent another wholesale national lockdown".
On September 9, Health Secretary Matt Hancock didn't rule out another nationwide lockdown in an interview with LBC.
He said: "Our goal is to avoid having to do anything more drastic by people following the rules", before adding (when asked if there won't be another lockdown): "I wouldn't make a vow like that. You wouldn't expect me to - I am the Health Secretary in the middle of a pandemic where we are trying to keep the country safe."
Mr Hancock also added that he 'hoped' another lockdown could be avoided, saying: "The number of cases is largely driven by people socialising."
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland recently told Sky News that a second national lockdown would be a 'nuclear option', saying: "As the Prime Minister said, going to a national lockdown would indeed be a nuclear option."
He also spoke about the potential for a curfew, adding: "I think that as you've seen we've been very prepared to move quickly where necessary and where the evidence poisons us.
"I think there's an issue about social occasions and social events and particularly young people getting together and enjoying themselves sometimes a bit too much and forgetting the importance of the rules.
"I think it would be idle of me to speculate as to what measures we might have to bring in as we approach the winter."