Boris Johnson is considering the introduction of new national restrictions – possibly as soon as next week – as the prime minister races to try and get a handle on the spread of coronavirus.

With Coronavirus cases now doubling every seven to eight days, the government is looking at introducing nationwide restrictions for a short period to try and slow the spread of the disease.

Government figures stressed the plans being drawn up stopped short of a full national lockdown, as seen in the spring, when the country was told to “stay at home”.

Proposals being worked up for such a “circuit break” could see essential travel to schools and workplaces contining, but restaurants and bars would shut – or perhaps run on restricted hours – and different households would be asked not to mix.