Britain could be plunged into a nationwide curfew with businesses forced to close by 10pm, it has been claimed.
The Daily Telegraph has reported that desperate ministers are considering extending local curfews to the whole country.
Businesses in Bolton were told yesterday that they must switch to takeaway only, and close between 10pm and 5pm.
As Covid-19 cases spiral nationwide it is understood the measure is being considered as a solution.
A senior government source reportedly confirmed that ministers had discussed the possibility of a nationwide curfew.
The Government is set to step up social distancing laws today as Boris Johnson prepares to cut gatherings to just six people.
It follows a series of lightening local lockdowns where restrictions have already been ramped up.
All socialising outside your household in Bolton will not just be banned, as it was already – it will also be enforced by law.
New laws "will be laid at the earliest opportunity," the government said.
Healthy Secretary Matt Hancock announced the move in the House of Commons and warned a national peak could be "coming" too.
He said: "This virus feeds on complacency.
"The threat posed by the virus has not gone away. Now, with winter on the horizon, we must all redouble our efforts so we get this virus on the back foot."
He added the rise in cases was especially high among younger people in their 20s and 30s.
The minister also warned youngsters that the "long-term effects can be terrible" if they get Covid-19.
Some 2,948 UK tests came back positive in the 24 hours to 9am on Monday – adding to 2,988 reported on Sunday.
Those are the largest figures since May and represent a major leap.
Hancock warned young people: "Don't kill your gran by catching coronavirus and then passing it on.
"And you can pass it on before you've had any symptoms at all."
Social gatherings of more than six people in England are set to be illegal from Monday.
The new rule will apply to private homes, indoors and outdoors and cover places like bars and cafes.
People who persistently ignore police can be fined a maximum of £3,200.
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