Pubs could all be shut across North and London in ’emergency two-week plan’

Pubs, restaurants and bars will be shut across the North of England and potentially London under drastic emergency coronavirus plans being drawn up by ministers, it has been reported.

The strict rules are on the brink of being enforced to combat the second wave of the killer bug, The Times reports today.

Merseyside, the North East, Lancashire and the capital are on the hit list and could be shunted into lockdown as early as this week.

Social venues would be closed down for two weeks in a bid to slow the spike.

The Times reports: “Households would also be banned indefinitely from meeting each other in any indoor location where they were not already under the order.

"Schools would stay open as well as shops, factories and offices at which staff could not work from home.”

The plan was presented to Boris Johnson last week at the Covid-19 strategy committee, the reports claims.

But the PM feared there was not enough appetite at the time from the UK public to back the lockdown measures.

A top Whitehall source told the paper: "The nation and the party wasn't ready for us to go any further last week.

“There wasn't a wide enough understanding of how substantial the second wave could be. Unlike the first lockdown, nobody has seen pictures of body bags in Spain or France on the TV yet, which had a very powerful effect. You have to take people with you.

"Tougher measures on social interaction will have to come though. They're inevitable in some parts if you look at the numbers."

Tough new fines come into force today, with people risking £100,000 bill if they repeatedly break self-isolation rules while infected with the virus.

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Police will be on patrol in high-risk areas and venues which flout 10pm curfews risk closure.

Locals in Liverpool said the city centre was a mess after huge crowds left pubs at the new closing time this weekend.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "These new fines are a clear sign that we will not allow those who break the rules to reverse the hard-won progress by the law-abiding majority."

Britain recorded another 17 deaths yesterday as the tally of confirmed cases hit 434,969.

Professor Woolhouse, part of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said earlier modelling indicated a second lockdown could be needed this month.

He told The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One yesterday: "That's entirely possible. The scenario I mentioned earlier does actually include this possibility and this is just another demonstration of what I was saying earlier.

"Lockdown doesn't solve the problem, it defers it.

"That's why we need some kind of cavalry on the horizon or alternatively, if you think that vaccine is not going to be available in six months or 12 months or two years or whenever, it means that we do need alternatives.

“The alternatives that have been mentioned so far are things like the Moonshot programme of mass testing."

Operation Moonshot is the Government plan for millions of screening tests each week that could let those with negative results move around more freely.

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