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TOUGHER restrictions are likely to be in place in England to tackle the swiftly accelerating second wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

A junior health minister on Monday(28) hinted that the government may outlaw more inter-household socialising.

“We don’t want to bring on new restrictions but of course we keep a constant eye on what is going on with the Covid rate,” Junior health minister Helen Whately told Sky News. “We were looking at what we might be able to do.”

According to The Times newspaper report ministers were preparing to enforce a total social lockdown across much of northern England and potentially London. The paper said all pubs, restaurants and bars would be ordered to shut for two weeks.

While responding to the report, Whately said that the country was at a really serious point and so Covid-19 had to be brought under control.

“This is the moment when we have an opportunity – we have a choice for the country – to get this back under control,” she said. “We have to break these chains of transmission.”

Meanwhile, the UK government has stated that it will work with parliament wherever possible to keep them updated on the latest Covid-19 data and any plans to restrict the spread of the virus.

“We will continue to keep parliament updated on the latest data and scientific advice on the virus and work in advance with parliamentary colleagues, wherever that is possible,” prime minister Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday.

‘Will ensure continuous supply of PPEs’

The government said it would have large stockpiles in place to provide a continuous flow of protective items, such as masks, to health workers tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, after criticism earlier in the year that supplies were too low.

In April, at the height of the first wave of infections in Britain, unions said doctors and nurses treating patients with Covid-19 were putting their lives at risk because of a lack of kit for frontline staff.

“At the start of the pandemic, meeting the huge demands for PPE (personal protective equipment) was a massive challenge,” health minister Matt Hancock said in a news release.

“That’s why we have worked every day since to ensure we have an uninterrupted supply to meet the challenges in the coming months and protect those who are protecting us.”

Four-month stockpiles of kit, including visors and gowns will be ready from November, the health ministry said.