AFTER a rise in cases due to the new strain of COVID-19 a new ‘Tier 5’ could be imposed in England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been advised by scientists that firmer measures are needed after another dramatic rise in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus.

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Bucks was placed into Tier 4 suddenly on December 20 and now fears that stricter rules will be put in place in the coming days.

The new restrictions would be like the initial lockdown we saw in March, with schools shutting and daily exercise limited to one hour per day.

There is no suggestion that the new restrictions would be called ‘Tier 5’ but the measures would be tougher than the ones imposed now.

A senior Whitehall source warned England could see harsher restrictions as cases continue to climb.

The source said new measures could mean “adding another level onto Tier 4, so like a Tier 5.”

They said: “We are ruling nothing out, the new strain is of serious concern. Tier 4 appears to not be strong enough.”

Cabinet minister Michael Gove also refused to rule out tighter measures being introduced on Monday, involving the whole of England going into Tier 4.

He told BBC Breakfast: “We review which tiers parts of the country should be in on the basis of scientific evidence.

“The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) will be making a recommendation to ministers, but I can’t pre-empt that because it obviously has to be a judgment based on the medical situation.

“As you quite rightly point out, the NHS is under pressure and these are difficult months ahead.”

As of 9am on Monday, there had been another 41,385 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

This brings the overall number of cases in the UK to 2,329,730.