Priti Patel holding press conference with expected final warning to obey rules

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Priti Patel is holding a press conference this evening with Brits bracing themselves for tougher coronavirus lockdown crackdown.

The Home Secretary is set to speak at 5pm where she is expected to give people a final warning to obey the rules, or face a toughening up of restrictions.

It is thought she will beg people to follow the restrictions and may threaten even tougher action if the infection rate does not start to come down.

She will be joined by Martin Hewitt, Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, and Dr Vin Diwakar, NHS England's regional medical director for London.

Earlier this week Ms Patel said it was "a long way" until restrictions can start to be lifted.

Yesterday a horrifying 1,820 deaths were recorded along with 38,905 positive cases.

A study shows the start of lockdown has failed to drive down cases like previous national efforts have.

Scientists think the new, more contagious mutation may be to blame, while they warn that infections may not fall unless we do more.

Lead researcher Professor Paul Elliott, from Imperial College London, said: “Our data are showing worrying suggestions of a recent uptick in infections which we will continue to monitor closely.

“Infections must be brought down; if prevalence continues at the high rate we are seeing then hospitals will continue to be put under immense pressure, and more and more lives will be lost.”

Ministers were said to be considering tougher restrictions earlier this month, which could include banning people meeting up for exercise, closing nurseries and halting non-essential click and collect services.

But experts believe the highly contagious new variant is primarily to blame for the high infection rate.

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