NEW "tier four" restrictions could be introduced if the current local lockdown measures fail to bring down coronavirus cases in England, according to reports.
The Government is said to be considering plans to add an extra tier to the three-tiered lockdown system, which could mean restaurants and non-essential shops are forced to close.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updatesTighter measures are reportedly being drawn up to reduce rising coronavirus infection rates, according to reportsCredit: PA:Press Association
What is tier 4 lockdown?
Discussions are underway among officials in Whitehall and local authorities for a "plan B" to drive Covid-19 infection rates down if the current three-tiered lockdown system fails to work, iNews reported.
Under tier three, pubs and bars that do not serve substantial meals are required to close, as are casinos, adult gaming centres, and soft play centres.
Non-essential shops can remain open under tier three restrictions.
Extra tier three-plus or potential tier four restrictions could mean restaurants and non-essential shops are forced to close.
Schools will not be permitted to close under any potential tier-four measures.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a full national lockdown was not an option because it would severely impact people’s mental health and the economy.
When could extra restrictions be put in place?
It's reported that new restrictions could be introduced in November.
Fears are now growing that the R-rate will not drop below Christmas in tier three areas - piling pressure on the government to unveil a new strategy.
Whitehall officials believe that it would be clear by the middle of November, two to three weeks after the first tier three measures were introduced, whether the restrictions had made any difference to case numbers.
Local leaders in tier three regions have reportedly been told that social contacts need to be cut by 60 per cent - the equivalent of bringing the R-rate down from 1.6 to below 1.
What do tiers 1, 2, and 3 mean?
Warrington will fall under Tier 3 restrictions from Tuesday October 27.
Pubs and bars will close in these areas unless they can operate as a restaurant. People have also been advised against travel in and out of the areas.
Those in tier three can't stay overnight somewhere if it means they'll be inside with people outside their household or support bubble.
Areas should only be at this level for 28 days then a review should take place.
Soft play centres have been ordered to close under tier three restrictions.
People living in tier two areas, including London, Coventry, Stoke, Slough, York, Cheshire, Leeds, Sunderland and Leicester, are currently banned from mixing with other households indoors, including in pubs.
When outside, only two households are able to mix.
Tier one is currently seen to be “medium risk” and covers the rest of England.
Pubs must close at 10pm and the rule of six still applies for areas under tier one restrictions.