The UK is at a “critical point” in the coronavirus pandemic and “heading in the wrong direction”, the government’s chief medical officer will warn later.
Prof Chris Whitty believes the country is facing a “very challenging winter period.
It comes after the prime minister spent the weekend considering whether to introduce further measures in England.
The prime minister is understood to be considering a two-week mini lockdown in England – being referred to as a “circuit breaker” – in an effort to stem widespread growth of the virus.
He held a meeting at Downing Street on Sunday, along with Prof Whitty, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, to discuss possible measures.
At the briefing later, Prof Whitty will be joined by the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, to present the latest data.
Prof Whitty is expected to say: “The trend in the UK is heading in the wrong direction and we are at a critical point in the pandemic.
The two scientists are expected to explain how the virus is spreading and the potential scenarios as the winter approaches.
They are also expected to share data on other countries who are experiencing a second wave, and explain how the UK could face similar situations.