Coronavirus infection rates are climbing higher as the new, highly transmissible strain of the virus continues to spread.
Now Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being used to plunge the country into national lockdown in the hope it would slow the spread.
Mr Johnson has warned “there’s no question” the government will have to enforce tougher lockdown measures, and that they will be announcing them in “due course”.
Reports also circulated last week about the government possibly bringing in a new Tier 5.
But what would a national lockdown look like, and how would it differ from Tier 4? Here we take a closer look.
Much of the country is already in Tier 4, but there are likely to be a few small, but important, differences if a national lockdown comes into force.
In places where Tier 4 restrictions are in place, all non-essential shops and businesses have to close, household mixing is banned and there is a general “Stay at home” message.
They are all measures that were also in place during the last national lockdown, which was in November.
One difference is that places of worship were only allowed to open for exceptional circumstances, but they remain open in Tier 4 areas.
If the government opts for a national lockdown like the one we had in March, schools could be shut in a bid to curb transmission.
They remained open during the November lockdown, but health experts are warning they made need to be closed for weeks to reduce the R number.
Mr Johnson has refused to rule out school closures, or the cancellations of exams when he was questioned which additional measures may need to be brought in.
In Tier 4 areas you are still permitted to meet one person outside in a public place like a park.
But this could be scrapped if the government returns to a more stricter “Stay at home” message.
However, if it mirrors the November lockdown, people could still be allowed to meet up with one person from another household.
Most importantly, the measures would be the same across the whole country – regardless of infection rate.