The COVID-19 alert in the United Kingdom was on Monday raised to the highest level (5).
This means the National Health Service (NHS), the government-funded healthcare system is on the brink of collapse.
Under level 5, there is a risk of hospitals being overwhelmed. Stricter social distancing measures will now be enforced.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce lockdown measures during an address at 8pm.
A statement by the government 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”, it read.
Since the pandemic outbreak in 2020, the UK has recorded more than 2.71 million cases and 75,400 deaths.