People could be banned from leaving their home more than once a week under new tougher lockdown rules, it has been claimed.
As coronavirus cases continuing to soar in most parts of the country, the Government is looking at strengthening the rules to drive infections down.
With the nation in lockdown, Brits have been told to stay at home until at least mid-February, although it’s believed lockdown measures are most likely to remain in place until late March.
Some stricter measures reportedly being looked at are curfews, nurseries being closed, support bubbles being banned, face masks being made compulsory in all busy outdoor areas and exercise limited to one hour.
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A Whitehall source has reportedly told MailOnline that the new rules could include people being restricted from leaving their homes more than once a week.
They claim the draconian measures could be rolled out to stop people abusing the current rules by using it as ‘ an excuse for people to go for a coffee in the park with their friends’.
The source said the two-person from 2-households rule is currently in place for exercise and to aid people’s mental health but many are using their ‘imaginations’ to do other things.
The concerns come as hordes of people were seen flocking to beaches and town centres over the weekend – despite Boris Johnson calling on families to stay at home to control the mutant strain of coronavirus which is being blamed for the soaring infection rate.
The new rules could also see shops and workplaces made to improve their efforts to enforce social distancing.
The Government’s latest push will focus on supermarkets as concerns have ben raised that lax enforcement of the rules are leaving shoppers at risk.
Pubs may also be forced to stay closed for a further five months due to fears over social distancing.
Tougher punishment for rule breakers are also being looked at.
England’s chief medical officer has urged people to “double down” and stop any “unnecessary contacts”.
Professor Chris Whitty told BBC Breakfast: “What we need to do before the vaccines have had their effect – because it’s going to take several weeks before that happens – is we need to really double down.
“This is everybody’s problem, any single unnecessary contact with someone is a potential link in a chain of transmission that will lead to a vulnerable person.
“We’ve all got to, as individuals, help the NHS, help our fellow citizens, by minimising the amount of unnecessary contacts we have.”
He added: “The virus can be passed on in any place where people from two different households meet together.
“So, it can be passed on, and very often is passed on, in households when people invite people into their home and meet them who are not from their household.
“Of course, it can be passed on in any other environment: outside, in shops, in any kind of environment, and an indoor setting.
“The key thing to understand is that when you meet people from another household under any circumstances – and they’re very often your friends, your family – but those are the kind of situations where the virus is passed on.
“It doesn’t care who you are, it doesn’t care whether they’re your friends. If you meet someone from another household, the virus has an opportunity to be transmitted.”
The UK recorded 573 coronavirus deaths yesterday – the highest Sunday rise since April – and a further 54,940 cases.
This is the 13th day in a row they have been above the 50,000 daily infections.
The Cabinet Office has refused to deny that stricter new laws are being proposed instead have pointed to Matt Hancock’s vague statement earlier today.