Covid restrictions in England will get tougher if rules are not followed, Matt Hancock has warned, as the government introduces £10,000 fines for people who fail to self-isolate, the BBC reports.
The health secretary told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show the country was facing a “tipping point and we have a choice.”
“If everybody follows the rules then we can avoid further national lockdown.”
The prime minister is understood to be considering a ban on households mixing, and reducing opening hours for pubs.
The move could take the form of a two-week mini lockdown in England – being referred to as a “circuit breaker” – in an aim to stem a recent surge in cases.
A further 4,422 new Covid-19 cases and 27 deaths were reported in the UK on Saturday.
There were 350 new cases reported in Scotland, the highest daily increase since May, 212 new cases in Wales, and 222 in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile, people in England who refuse an order to self-isolate could be fined up to £10,000 from 28 September.
The new legal duty requires people to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus, or are traced as a close contact.
New measures also include a one-off £500 support payment for those on lower incomes, and a penalty for employers who punish those told to self-isolate.