SCIENTISTS advising the government want a two-week national lockdown next month to battle the surge in coronavirus, it is reported.
Experts suggested an October lockdown during half term before the virus "breaks the NHS", The Financial Times reports.
It comes after the government played down reports that Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is pushing for a fresh fortnight lockdown with fears cases are are high as 38,000 a day.
Up to 10 million Brits have already been plunged into fresh local lockdowns in regions throughout the UK.
Boris Johnson's government is now desperate to stop the UK plunging into another full-scale shutdown as Covid-19 cases soar.
Shocking figures released last week by Imperial College London and Ipsos Mori show the number of cases of the deadly virus is doubling every seven to eight days in England.
OCTOBER LOCKDOWN FEARS
And the R rate – which shows the number of people, on average, that one infected person will pass the virus on to- has ballooned to1.7.
Warning a second national lockdown would be "disastrous, the PM said on Wednesday: “I don’t want a second national lockdown.
"I think it would be completely wrong for this country and we are going to do everything in our power to prevent it."
Downing Street wants to avoid closing schools again after only reopening them fully in the last few weeks following March's lockdown.
One SAGE scientist told the FT: "As schools will be closed for one week at half-term, adding an extra week to that will have limited impact on education".
The confirmed the body had looked at an October lockdown and said if the current R number continues it would “break the NHS”.
And they admitted Britain's test-and-trace system was “creaking at the seams”
Another expert, a member of the government's Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M), confirmed they too had considered the option of a two-week shutdown next month.
UK coronavirus cases rose yesterday by 3,395 with 21 more deaths – as test shortages strike across the country.
Brits have struggled to book appointments to get tested due to a backlog of about 240,000 swabs.
Scores of coronavirus hotspots have emerged in large swathes of the country in recent weeks as cases rise and infection rates go up.
As a result, several regions – including Greater Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester – have been plunged into lockdown or given restrictions that limit households mixing and curfews.
Today the North East became the latest area to be slapped with tougher new rules, with households banned from mixing, 10pm curfews imposed and restaurants and cafes limited to offering table service only.
Merseyside and Lancashire – apart from Blackpool – are also expected to be hit with a North East-style lockdown, it has emerged.
London has also seen a rise of case rates in at least 30 boroughs.
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