British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell people on Tuesday to work from home and will impose new curbs on pubs, bars and restaurants in a bid to tackle the swiftly accelerating second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.
And he announced that face masks will be made mandatory for staff in the hospitality and retail sectors, and for passengers in taxis.
After government scientists warned that the death rate would soar without urgent action, Johnson said the new restrictions in England could last for six months although he stopped short of imposing another full lockdown.
Sir Patrick Vallance, speaking alongside Professor Chris Whitty on Monday, said the "vast majority of the population remain susceptible" to catching coronavirus and the current situation required swift action to bring the case numbers down.
After a quiet summer where life largely returned to normal, England now faces new restrictions created to slow the spread of COVID-19.
However, the United Kingdom government's new measures do not go as as far as those introduced In Northern Ireland, where First Minister Arlene Foster has announced a ban on different households mixing indoors.
"For the time being, this virus is a fact of our lives and I must tell the House and the country that our fight against it will continue". The UK has also seen the 5th highest deaths in the world due to COVID-19.
"Nothing is more important than education, health and well-being of young people", he said.
In addition, Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations in the retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors.
The measures apply only to England.
Mr Hunt said he would be asking the government further questions about the implications of the new rules.
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Sturgeon said the measures would be reviewed every three weeks but "may be needed for longer than that".
In a stark warning to the British public, Johnson signaled that the restrictions may be in place for "perhaps six months".
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a risky surge in the coronavirus has prompted tighter rules for England, but the restrictions are short of a full lockdown.
Britain eased its lockdown starting in June as cases began to fall, but that trend has now been reversed.
Johnson starts shutting down Britain.
There is also a growing backlash in Boris Johnson's own party, with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma reportedly pressuring the prime minister to keep restrictions to a minimum over concerns the harm another lockdown could have on the economy.
"We will ensure that businesses can stay open in a COVID-compliant way", he added.
The Prime Minister also addressed the suggestions that instead of more restrictions and lockdowns, the Government should simply focus on protecting the most vulnerable in society.
Britain has the highest confirmed virus death toll in Europe, at 41,877 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.