UK at 'tipping point' in second coronavirus wave – latest updates

A second national lockdown is being considered as coronavirus cases continue to spiral out of control, a leading UK scientist has warned.

Professor Peter Horby said the UK was at a "precarious point" as cases and hospital admissions continue to rise in many regions. He added that the "critical mission" now was to protect the NHS to avoid all non-essential hospital services being cancelled.

He said: "We really need to provide care to everybody - those with Covid and those without. "The way to do that is to keep the numbers down." Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also preparing to brief cabinet ministers ahead of unveiling his new three-tier lockdown system.

The Government has spent this weekend informing mayors and council leaders around the UK about the new three-tier “Local COVID Alert Levels”, which are the new system of restrictions that will be announced by Boris Johnson tomorrow.

Areas in the north and midlands are likely to be placed in the third tier, the toughest restriction, as cases continue to spike.

Following backlash from some areas over the new restrictions, mayors and council leaders will also get more of a say in the new rules under new “co-design” restrictions.

Regions placed in the “very high” tier will see hospitality or leisure venues closed.

The UK recorded another 15,116 COVID cases and 81 more deaths on Saturday.

This is up from 13,864 infections on Friday, 12,827 seven days ago and 6,739 two weeks ago.