Boris Johnson has announced that he will be addressing the nation tonight at 20:00 hours.
It has been reported by the BBC that Mr Johnson will be announcing that England will be entering its third lockdown as the NHS battles to treat a vast influx of COVID patients.
Much of the country is currently in Tier 4 restrictions, but there is speculation that Mr Johnson will be announcing the implementation of Tier 5 restrictions – the highest level.
For weeks now, frontline medical staff have reported that many COVID wards are three times their capacity.
Emergency Services News reported several weeks ago that emergency ambulances have been facing delays of up to seven hours as medics wait to book their patients into A&E.
There has also been a problem concerning staffing levels both on the front line of the emergency services and in hospitals as more and more staff have to self-isolate having developed COVID symptoms.
The south-east of England has been battling against a new strain of COVID that is much more infectious than previously known strains of the virus.
The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) has the task of recommending what the alert level should be.
JBC scientists identify changes in infection rates using testing, environmental and workplace data.
The JBC also has an “insight team” which monitors local spikes of Covid and advises health officials and local authorities.
Their recommendations are then reviewed and agreed by the chief medical officers of the four UK nations.
A number 10 spokesperson said:
“The spread of the new variant of COVID-19 has led to rapidly escalating case numbers across the country.
“The prime minister is clear that further steps must now be taken to arrest this rise and to protect the NHS and save lives.
“He will set those out this evening”.
New YouGov polling suggests that 79% of people support another national lockdown, which is up eight points from late December 62% also think that it was wrong to open some schools this week.
One NHS worker, who asked not to be named said: ‘Whiston Hospital in Merseyside is on its knees! I saw senior nurses acting as porters to get discharged patients down to reception. They are running with a skeleton staff. As always, doing their best and trying to be cheerful, God help them!’
Others have said that the latest round of restrictions which are due to be implemented are ‘too late’ to avert a crisis in the NHS.
Stay up-to-date with more news from the front line by subscribing to our free newsletter. Subscribe by clicking HERE.
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of our readers.
And remember, if you have a service, product or job vacancy that you would like to promote to our large readership, then you can buy advertising space in our articles.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.